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 "'And I'll root, toot, shoot myself to fame

Every kid alive is gonna know my name

An overnight phenomenon like there's never been

A motivated, supersonic king of the scene"


"I'll be a teenage idol, just give me a break

I'll be a teenage idol, no matter how long it takes

You just don't know what it means to me

I'm gonna find myself a place in history

A teenage idol, that's what I'm gonna be".
Elton John, "(I'm Going To Be A) Teenage Idol", written for his friend Marc Bolan (T-Rex).

An entertainer who is idolized by teenagers.

People have been declared teen idols for as long as being a teenager has been recognized. Many, but not all, have been specifically groomed for this purpose. They generally have several things in common:

  1. Either they are teenaged themselves when they first become stars, or they are in their twenties and can pass for teenage with Dawson Casting (or both).
  2. They are attractive and photogenic, often becoming the target of the Celeb Crush (Beauty Equals Goodness, right?).
  3. They act, sing, or both. It tends to be both if their managers have a say in it. Their talent is irrelevant to being a Teen Idol in the first place, but it makes a difference about whether they're Vindicated by History.
  4. They create a Periphery Hatedom for anyone not a teenager, and of course some teenagers (Of course, Your Mileage May Vary on this one).

The most basic way to tell if a celebrity is truly a Teen Idol is by whether they wind up in magazines aimed at the teenage market (like Sassy, Tiger Beat, YM, Seventeen, and Teen People) and by whether they become a poster celebrity.

Often, if the teens of the era have a social conscience, a Teen Idol will be the way The Man Is Sticking It to the Man.

Often overlaps with the Idol Singer, although not all teen idols are singers.

Examples of Teen Idol include:


  • Chronicled in part in the movie The Shawshank Redemption.
  • Elvis Presley.
  • James Dean
  • Len Whiting. Yeah, who? Romeo from Franco Zefferelli's 1968 Romeo and Juliet. He was such a major Teen Idol for a while that it wasn't uncommon for him to be the subject of 60% or more of the articles in a single issue of a teen magazine.
    • Considering he looks like Zac Efron, this troper isn't suprised.
  • Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, who are probably regretting it.
    • This is mainly because many of the fans who cannot differentiate fiction from reality and they actualy think that Pattinson is Edward and Stewart is Bella. This has led to many fans attempting to get "Edward" to bite them so they can become a vampire too, and all sorts of Squick things. Both actors have said on numerous occasions that they are less than pleased.
  • All of the stars of High School Musical.
  • Rudolf Valentino.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio used to be one in his younger years.

Live Action TV


Real Life

  • Pin-up girls of World War Two (and onwards) fame.
  • Many a Page Three Stunna, but most notably Samantha Fox, Linda Lusardi, Melinda Messenger and Keeley Hazell.
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