Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Ununnilium: ...but we already had Emo.

Licky Lindsay: but this is a Wiki Word.

Ununnilium: But:
  1. There was never any discussion about renaming it.
  2. This isn't the same entry anyway.

So, should the two be lumped, or...? >> <<

Lale: No, this is a character, Emo is an "Online Persona."

Ununnilium: True. Lemme see if I can't make that clearer.

Lale: One thing, though. Isn't it more likely the cyber Emo persona was based off the character type?

Ununnilium: Why? Most people don't base how they act on characters from TV shows.

screw-the-duelists-i-have-money-in-america: that's, sadly, not always true *does kyouya glasses straitening thing*

Lale: Still, I figured the tv Emo Teen character was a warped inspiration from real "emo" teens.

Duckluck: In this case, I'd have to disagree. "Emo" and its slightly more respectable cousin "Indie" were born out of the "fringe" music scene and have actually been around for a while (although they've only become widespread in recent years). TV has actually been a little late to the party, but has apparently recognised this character type as a way to appeal to angsty over-priveleged white kids.

Zeta: Props to whoever put Harry Potter on this page. XD

Eric DVH: Um, can somebody enlighten me on the difference between an emo and a goth? I've never understood exactly what the difference is supposed to be (or why goths and emos are supposed to be natural enemies). About the only conclusive thing I've ever noticed is that the term "goth" showed up in the early '90s, while I never really saw "emo" until about the 2000s.

Mister Six: Emo kids somehow contrive to listen to worse music. Seriously, there's not a massive difference, except that emo kids are a bit cooler than goths, and usually less fat.

Sukeban: Er. Goth comes from the late 70s/ early 80s. The teens who would be shaving their eyebrows to get the Marilyn Manson look in the mid-90s weren't even born when Bauhaus released Bela Lugosi's Dead ¨_¨;

Noaqiyeum: Regrettably, neither of those comments were especially helpful in actually answering the question.
  • "Oldest One In The Book" in more ways than one - Hamlet the so-called "Emo Teen" is 30 years old!.
    • Hamlet's age is somewhat unclear in the play; he's frequently described as "young" and acts like, well, a teenager, but near the end, a gravedigger says that he became sexton the year Hamlet was born, thirty years ago. Some people say that "thirty years" was just an expression meaning "a long time" and that the word most modern editors interpret as "sexton" was intended to be "sixteen"; they further argue that if Hamlet really was 30, he, not Claudius, would have inherited the throne of Denmark. Yet another interpretation holds that the "30 years" was a Lampshade Hanging on the fact that the actor playing Hamlet was a middle-aged man that was much older than the character he was portraying. The simplest thing to do is call it a Plot Hole and leave it at that.

Lale: We're all familiar with Dawson Casting and Playing Hamlet; adult actors over thirty may play Hamlet in modern adaptations, but if the original Hamlet were over thirty, he would have been even "older" by Elizabethan standards than ours (Juliet's mother decided 14 was the perfect age to get married). Plus, he's still in school.
Rebochan: So must it come to me to poin tout that most of the examples and the introduction itself are at odds with each other? An emo teen should actually be, you know, emo. Not just justifiably depressed or even slightly irrational. I'm doing some clean up of the entries that just amount to Complaining About Characters You Don't Like and not, you know, teens that are trying to be emo. The only reason I'm not pulling Sasuke is because of the ongoing jokes related to him.

Nlpnt: OK, someone pulled all the examples (archived below so they don't fall off the new-edits radar without starting an Edit War) and gave the reason "Most of these are just Angst, and basically complaining about characters you don't like". Discuss. (And if it's "most of them" why pull them all?)


  • Sasuke Uchiha is frequently accused of following this trope. He does look the part, as his hair color (black) and style (face-obscuring bang) are clear indicators. Most of his Wangst comes from his Inner Monologue, but he never acts upon it in any stereotypical fashion (the character that's the most emotional in that sense is Sakura). After the Time Skip, he's pretty much expressionless.
    • Oh, and he has a pretty good reason to be angsty, too. Nothing quite like seeing your big brother kill most of your family over and over for three days straight (twice) to emotionally damage a boy!
      • Oh oh, and he was only eight years old at the time. Ouch.
      • He hardly had the most dysfunctional childhood of the cast. That would be Gaara.
      • But as a subversion, Naruto had just as bad of a childhood and is the most optimistic character in the show.
  • Shinji Ikari. The show makes a point of noting this aspect of his personality and doesn't really sympathize with him for it either, even while showing that he has justification for being upset all the time.
  • Shinn Asuka is also accused of being blatantly emo, in spite of the fact he had probably the most mentally scarring backstory of any Gundam protagonist before Setsuna F. Seiei. Yes, he broods a number of times, but he's also outspoken, will throw his life away to protect people, and aside from his problems with Orb, his complaints are almost never about himself. Of course, then that painful Character Derailment happened...

Comic Books
  • Mary Jane goes through an Emo stage in the miniseries Spiderman Loves Mary Jane. She's shaken out of it by seeing Peter Parker dealing with heavy emotional pain (his uncle dying) in a relatively dignified fashion.
  • While he doesn't look the part, Superboyman-Prime fits the trope to a T.

  • Dwayne in Little Miss Sunshine.
  • Harold from Harold and Maude, whose hobby was pretty much faking his own suicide. He was emo before emo was emo.

Live-Action TV

  • The Emo Teen and the Emo subculture is cruelly (but hilariously) parodied by Bill Bailey in his song "The Song Written From The Perspective Of A Young Man Who Works At Starbucks And Self Harms", which is exactly as Emo as the title would suggest:
    I stole some pins from the noticeboard
    I pressed them into my hand
    And they spelled 'why'
    Why did they spell 'why'?
    Because there weren't enough pins for 'oblivion'.
  • "Emo Kid" by Adam and Andrew also parodies the emo subculture, as well as outside reactions to it.
  • As does "Cheer Up, Emo Kid" by Patent Pending.
  • MC Lars' song "Signing Emo" mocks the kind of music Emo teens likes by telling the story of the fictitious band Hearts That Hate and their One-Hit Wonder "Cry Tonight".
  • "Ur So Gay" by Katy Perry. Tastes of Angst Dissonance...
    Youíre so sad maybe you should buy a happy meal
    Youíre so skinny you should really Super Size the deal
    Secretly youíre so amused that nobody understands you
    Iím so mean cause I cannot get you outta your head
    Iím so angry cause youíd rather MySpace instead
    I canít believe I fell in love with someone that wears more makeup than... (enter chorus)
  • The title of a Foo Fighters song takes a jab at Emos: "Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make Up Is Running)".
    • In an interview Dave Grohl mentioned how the Reagan administration engendered hardcore punk (which he was a part of) and the Bush admin. engendered Emo. Back then, kids were shouting about it, now they're crying about it.
  • Parodied by the Pet Shop Boys song "Miserablism".
    Just for the sake of it, make sure you're always frowning
    (Angst! Angst! Angst!)
    It shows the world that you've got substance and depth
  • Also parodied by Electronic's "Getting Away With It", as a Take That! against The Smiths singer Morrissey and his fandom. The two bands shared a guitarist.
    I've been walking in the rain just to get wet on purpose
    I've been forcing myself not to forget just to feel worse

  • Hamlet, making it Older Than Print. And he was depressed before finding out his uncle murdered his father. Not surprisingly, Hamlet's tragic flaw is often described as this. (Although a few almost-inconsequential lines in the play indicate that Hamlet is in his thirties or forties, a lot of scholars have noted he has to be, at most, in his twenties, since he acts like a teen and is still in school. Shakespeare didn't always do the math.)
  • Not to mention Romeo. Even other characters in the play chew him out for his endless Wangst.
    • To be fair, Mercutio (Romeo's best friend) makes fun of everyone. He pays dearly for it when he taunts Tybalt, who has no sense of humor.
    • My English teacher calls him Emo Boy.
      • So does mine!
      • Mine calls Hamlet "Emo Boy" instead. She calls Romeo an "idiot".

  • The Catcher in the Rye: Holden.
  • Harry enters this territory by book five, but then, that's just how teenagers are, as Phineas Nigellus explains. Harry largely gets over himself at the end after his wangsting causes a major screwup that results in his godfather's death.
  • Edward Cullen. Also Bella, when she isn't around Edward (and sometimes when she is).

Tabletop Games
  • The Maenads (stop giggling), a race introduced in the Dungeons & Dragons Expanded Psionics Handbook. They're pale-skinned, black-haired and were wronged aeons ago by their parents the gods. Their stoic, intense exterior belies their boiling internal rage, which they release by screaming. Also, they sparkle.

Video Games
  • Lampshaded in TWEWY when Neku plays Tin Pin to suppress his "Emo Urges" during Another Day.
  • Moody, short-tempered loner Steve Burnside from Resident Evil: Code Veronica. Between this and his rather... interesting voice actor from the original game, it's made him something of The Scrappy in fandom. Granted, his angst isn't without good reason. His father, an Umbrella employee, was caught selling company secrets. In response, Umbrella sent their hit squad to the Burnside house, shot Steve's mother to death in front of him, then sent father and son to their highly illegal offshore torture camp to die.

Web Original
  • Sarah from lonelygirl15, especially in the first series.
  • The Let's Play of Persona 3 portrays the main character as this, which is helped by the fact that he looks the part anyways (dark-blue hair that goes over his eyes). The character often expresses interest in "Emo" music and makes a Catch Phrase/Arc Phrase out of the term "My Life is a Goddamned Mess".
    • Absolutely justified. He lives in a Shin Megami Tensei game. His life is a goddamned mess.
  • Survival of the Fittest version one had tons of these characters, even Hawley Faust had elements of the trope (including suicide attempts). Versions two and three dropped off this trope, but didn't abandon it entirely; Damien Carter-Madison and Eduardo Trinidad-Villa both stood out as this type of character.
  • 8-Bit Theater has Vilbert Von Vampire, who is an Emo Teen Vampire fond of poetry and LARPing.
  • Haley from Order Of The Stick went through an Emo Teen period in her life. In fact, it was the memory of her Emo Teen self that tried the hardest, out of all of Haley's seen personality traits, to hook Haley up with Elan.
  • "Hope is Emo", a video series by the same people that did Ask a Ninja, featured Hope, an incredibly stereotypical emo girl, answering questions from viewers, and at least once each episode breaking out into tears about some minor thing (the first episode had her crying over words being killed when you erase them from the blackboard, go figure...).
  • SCP Foundation has SCP-531, an Emo Teen with reality-warping powers constantly in the verge of abolishing Humankind (which is why he's oh-so-very Keter), who unconsciously killed the entire staff at his containment site while mourning his mom's death. He eventually had to be killed by locking him in a glass cage in outer space and blowing it up.
  • Potter Puppet Pals had an episode called "Wizard Angst" with Harry going through a Wangsty period. "I'm feeling cranky and pubescent today and I don't know why!"

Western Animation
  • Jazz (originally) on Danny Phantom. Whiny? Check. Self-important? Double check. Trying to work her way to self-identification? Check, plus considering herself an adult trapped in a teenager's body. Thank God for Character Development. Oddly, she doesn't look at all like a stereotypical emo, and looks more like a stereotypical preppy.
  • Histeria!! has Charity "I'm Not Happy" Bazaar, who's essentially a younger version of this trope.
  • Family Guy: Meg Griffin.
  • Zuko in Avatar: The Last Airbender falls into the "justifiably angsty" camp. The Abridged Series cranks his emo-ness Up to 11.

Real Life
  • Subversion: psychology researchers have theorized that "teenage angst", as a period, is actually healthy and required for a well-adjusted adulthood. However, what happens when a person focuses on that and makes is a central part of their life is unknown.