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The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History

Updated June 14, 2019 19.6k votes 1.5k voters 20.9k views63 items

List RulesVote up the most memorable television characters who suffer from chronic teen angst.

Being a teenager is hard. No one knows that better than the greatest misunderstood teenagers in TV history. These teens have suffered unnatural – or sometimes supernatural – trials and tribulations, all in the name of prime-time entertainment. From the angsty Angela Chase (My So-Called Life) to the zany Zack Morris (Saved By the Bell), those on the list of the best misunderstood TV teens are left to wonder why grown-ups just don’t get it.

Sibling rivalry plays a large part in the lives of the greatest misunderstood teens on TV. While Jan Brady (The Brady Bunch) and Vanessa Huxtable (The Cosby Show) often lament the parental favor their older siblings receive, Anthony Soprano, Jr. (The Sopranos) and Silas Botwin (Weeds) turn to substance abuse to ease their feelings of inferiority. 

Being one of the best misunderstood TV teens is a fraught enough experience as a human character, but extraterrestrial teens face a whole different set of problems. Space-travelers like Tommy Solomon (3rd Rock From the Sun) and Clark Kent (Smallville) must navigate the treacherous waters of high school while minding the complex missions for which they were sent to Earth.

Finally, some of the greatest misunderstood teens in TV history have to contend with an altogether different dimension. The undead plague our heroine Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer); White Walkers lurk in the North kingdom, where Sansa Stark just wants some peace to train her direwolf (Game of Thrones); even the Big Guy upstairs bugs a savvy teen once in awhile (Joan Girardi, Joan of Arcadia).

Who else bravely bears the indignities of being the most misunderstood TV teens?