Going on a big shop with your mum, and other things teens never do on screen

MOVIES believe that being a teenager is romance, rebellion and rites of passage, forgetting that it’s mostly time pissed away on this crap:

Doing the big shop

It’s half-term, there’s bugger all going on, and your mum’s off down Tesco for a big shop. A cool screen teen would be up to crazy antics the moment she left. Real teens tag sulkily along because they know they’ll be able to get a family-size Dairy Milk and maybe even a new top out of it.

Swigging Frosty Jack’s in a park

Every teen film has a scene where everyone gets wasted at a raging keg party with those red cups. None show the reality of alcohol experimentation: a dimly-lit park, illegally downloaded music playing on a shit speaker, and a beverage so cheap it can only be purchased in 2.5 litre bottles.

Doing homework all f**king night

Do filmmakers not remember how many hours of coursework it takes to get one poxy GCSE? It’s not one page of handwriting then out the window to explore new passions. Any real Year 11 isn’t sneaking anywhere until they’ve drilled the formation process of an oxbow lake.

Having a six-hour breakdown about someone else getting a text

The fundamental problem with teen life on the big screen is that there is way too much going on. Actual secondary schools are the perfect balance of absolutely f**k all happening while 14-year-olds discuss in hysterical depth just why Kirk could possibly have sent that text to Hailee and whether Bradley knows.

Being horrifically grotty

Screen teens are all far too well dressed and, well, washed. Teenage boys stink of BO and Lynx while teenage girls slather foundation over burst spots. A few shots of those communal bibs from PE football would go a long way.


It wouldn’t make for the most thrilling viewing. But any scene showing a person under 20 set before 1pm on a weekend is completely unrealistic. They do nothing but sleep. They sleep all the f**king time.

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'I was in MI5 and can't talk about it', and other brilliant explanations for CV gaps

DID you spend 2008-2012 sleeping late and smoking weed? Has it left a gap in your career narrative that’s tough to explain? Use these lies: 

‘I was in MI5. That’s all I can tell you’

An impressive organisation to have worked for and, like Boris Johnson after a party, you’re legally not able to divulge any references or provide any proof that you were actually there. If they pry, you can accuse them of being a threat to national security and tell them they’ll get double-tapped.

‘I was training for the Olympics’

In the end it all came to nothing. But for 12 months ending in January of 2016, you were almost definitely going to be on Team GB’s bobsleigh squad. It hurts to talk about it, of course. It should you, damnit, not Lamin Dean.

‘I wrote a bestselling novel under a penname’

Tell them you took that year out in your mid-20s to write a bestselling book – and this is important – under a pseudonym. Imply it might be about a certain boy wizard, or games related to hunger. But you’re bitter about being ripped off and hate to talk about it.

‘I was abducted by aliens’

As long as you’re not interviewing for a job that requires you to have set beliefs, like Catholic priest, they legally can’t discriminate against you for your belief that for a six-month period in 2004, you were taken to Sirius and back. And anally probed, obviously.

‘I was president of a country that no longer exists’

You can’t expect the manager to be completely up-to-date on all geopolitical goings on, so why not make up a country and see how much you can improvise about your election, your downfall, and the dissolution of the state. You might even get a higher salary.

‘I was too busy turning jobs down’

It’s not that people didn’t want you – it’s that you didn’t want them. They were on their knees begging you to come be CEO at Microsoft. But you were saving yourself for this administrative position at a printer supplier. How can they turn you down after that?