Teenage Wasteland: from Angela to Zelda

High school is hard enough with tests and hormones, parents, zits, and extracurriculars – so why not add a seemingly endless and agonizing popularity contest to the mix! It’s no wonder the teenage years have been one of the primary subjects of film and television for so long. High school doesn’t have to be so bad, though. Here are some of pop culture’s most lovable suburban teenage outsiders, from Angela Chase to Zelda Waring.

May they inspire you to not give a damn about your bad reputation.

Angela Chase (My So-Called Life) – “School is a battlefield…….for your heart.” Please, Angela. Narrate all of my thoughts. She managed to turn toasters into a symbol of the teenage identity crisis – I dare you to top that.

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Denise Huxtable (The Cosby Show) – The original. The end. Forever and ever, amen.

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Enid Coleslaw (Ghost World) – She dyes her hair green and has sex with Steve Buscemi. COME ON. Let’s stalk Satanists and drink giant glasses of milk forever, please. What a bad-ass.


George Lass (Dead Like Me) – Died tragically on her first day as a temp after dropping out of college. Killed by a toilet seat. Makes weird masks out of Post-it notes while reaping souls in the afterlife. We have a winner.

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Kat Stratford (10 Things I Hate About You) – Sylvia Plath-loving, soccer playing, bra-less alternative chick of the 90s makes out with Heath Leger in a pile of hay while covered in paint. I can think of worse things.

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Lindsay Weir (Freaks & Geeks) – I would probably give up the top spot on the Mathletes to hang out with James Franco, too. Proof that smart kids can also be total burnouts – this is comforting.


Missy Pantone (Bring It On) – “I transferred from Los Angeles, your school has no gymnastics team, this is a last resort!” she sing-songs. Eliza Dushku is a total babe playing a talented cheerleader, and she STILL manages to achieve outsider status. Viva la middle finger, apparently.

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Rayanne Graff (My So-Called Life) – President of the Free Spirits Club, probably, if they ever got around to holding an election. Rayanne goes to class when she feels like it and spends like 90% of her screentime eating snacks (it’s a metaphor for her shitty home life, really). Literally every “alt” girl born between 1985 and 1995 has wanted to be her in some capacity.


Veronica Mars (Veronica Mars) – Nothing says “outcast” like a pair of headlights bashed in with a crowbar by the most popular guy in school. Yay!

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Willow Rosenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) – Reading leads to witchcraft and lesbianism. So, read on, kiddies. There aren’t enough lesbian witches in my life. She also saves the world and stuff, which is cool. (Except for that one time she tried to destroy it. Not very cool.)

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Zelda Waring (Squaresville) – Zelda sits in treehouses and rides around on shopping carts because she literally has nothing else to do. But I’d rather be Zelda than Britton, any day.

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-Taylor Brogan


About Taylor Brogan

Managing Editor - inconnu magazine. Tweets @thbrogan.


  1. Pingback: Teenage Wasteland: from Angela to Zelda | Capitalist Robot

  2. Pingback: Teenage Wasteland: from Angela to Zelda | Taylor Brogan



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