Announcing the Fake Teenager Festivus!

We all know teenagers are rarely cast as characters their age, and, as some have noted, teen-oriented shows have become even more prevalent lately. There are a lot of reasons for Hollywood’s chronological smudge tactics. Teenagers, at least those under eighteen, can’t put in as many hours a day, they may be growing or have skin issues or any other issues related to being a teenager and that create continuity problems within a production. It’s obviously not their fault, but it’s just easier to work with young-looking adults or older teens.

The teenager as a recognized age group is a relatively recent concept, as the age of adulthood used to be much lower than it is now, so teen culture wasn’t really a thing until around the nineteen-thirties. Then, among other things, we saw Mickey Rooney (born in 1920) romancing Ann Rutherford (born in 1917) as Andy Hardy and Polly Benedict respectively, with Judy Garland (born in 1922) waiting in the wings as the faithful Betsy Booth, and all of them were years older than their characters.

Hollywood’s committment to practicality (not to mention illusion) has produced some unrealistic views of teens and that’s one of the things we’re going to celebrate (or not) with the Fake Teenager Festivus, which will be all about films and shows that have teenage characters who aren’t played by real teens. Here we go with…

The Rules

  1. The Festivus will take place on November eighteenth through the twentieth. Posts can be sent to me on or around those days via the Comment section, to my Twitter or Instagram accounts (both @TakingUpRoom), my Contact page, or via e-mail (
  2. Posts will be about films and TV shows of any era featuring young adults, older teenagers, or older adults playing teenagers (see a partial list here).
  3. Duplicates are fine, or more if a post is a listicle or from a different angle. New material only, please, and nothing derogatory.
  4. Participants are limited to three posts.
  5. Grab a banner and advertise the blogathon!

The Roster

Taking Up Room: High School Hero (1946), Andy Hardy’s Private Secretary (1941)

Films From Beyond the Time Barrier: Village of the Giants (1965)

Whimsically Classic: Beverly Hills, 90120 (1990-2000)

The Stop Button: Lady Bird (2017)

Silver Screenings: The Blob (1958)

Realweegiemidget Reviews: Detroit Rock City (1999)

A Shroud of Thoughts: American Graffiti (1973)

Tales From the Freakboy Zone: Roswell (1999-2002)

The Flapper Dame: Dance Academy (2010-2013)

Dubsism: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Crítica Retrô: Phil For Short (1919)

Moon In Gemini: The Lost Boys (1987)

The Art of M.: I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957)

18 Cinema Lane: Words On Bathroom Walls (2020)

The Everyday Cinephile: Sparrows (1928)

The Banners


30 thoughts on “Announcing the Fake Teenager Festivus!

  1. Hi Rebecca! I’d like to do Bert I. Gordon’s Village of the Giants (1965), in which a group of 20-something “teenage” delinquents (led by Beau Bridges!) discover a serum that allows them to grow into giants and terrorize a small town. – Brian, Films From Beyond the Time Barrier

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi! I’d like to write about Phil-for-Short (1919), with a 31-year-old Evelyn Greeley as a girl in her late teens. I’ll also talk a little about it was – or wasn’t – the teen representation in silent era.
    Le from Critica Retro

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Rebecca! I’d like to sign up for your blogathon by reviewing ‘Words on Bathroom Walls’. Charlie Plummer, the film’s lead actor, was born in 1999. That means when ‘Words on Bathroom Walls’ was released in 2020, he was 21 years old. In the film, Charlie portrays a high school student.


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