Created By: Oreochan on November 10, 2012 Last Edited By: Oreochan on December 21, 2012
Troped

Phone aholic Teenager

Teenage characters who are always on their phone/cellphone

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This is part of a TRS effort to make tropes out of Cellphone and then redirect it to Phone Tropes.
A teenager who treats their phone or cellphone as if it was the most important thing in the world and are on it constantly, and this almost always leads to an insanely high bill. If they use cellphones, they may feel more comfortable texting than actually interacting with other people. When they have to babysit kids, they might not care about them.

This trope is older than cell phones; it goes back to the proliferation of the home telephone. In pre-cell phone days, this often involved a gag about there being only one phone in the house (or two phones on the same line where each extension could listen in on the other). Which made it impossible for the poor parents to call while the Bratty Teenage Daughter tied things up.

Classic trait for the Valley Girl, Bratty Teenage Daughter, and other teenage stereotypes.


Examples:

Comics

Live Action TV
  • Stella in Jonas. Her attempt to give up texting results in Sanity Slippage (including ending her sentences with "send").
  • Dalia from Suburgatory is rarely seen without her cell phone, usually slumped over it as she texts.
  • There have been cellphone-addicted teens on episodes of MTV's True Life.
  • In The Haunting Hour: The Series episode "A Creature Was Stirring", Becky's father has to take her cellphone away mid-conversation to get her to stop talking.
  • In an episode of The Brady Bunch Mr. Brady gets fed up with his kids hogging the phone and running up a huge bill, so he has a payphone installed for them to use.

Theatre

Western Animation
  • In Adventure Time, Valley Girl Lumpy Space Princess is constantly gossiping through her mobile phone even though she's homeless and living in a forest, on canned beans.
  • Candace Flynn from Phineas and Ferb is often shown on the phone with best friend Stacy. She seems to carry her cellphone everywhere as well.
  • In the episode of The Simpsons where a fortune teller tells Lisa about her future wedding, teenage Maggie is shown to have her own home phone and always be on it. The joke is, we never hear her voice during the whole episode because Maggie is The Voiceless.
  • In the Tom and Jerry shorts "Feedin' the Kiddie" and "Tot Watchers", the babysitter left in charge at Tom's house goes straight to the phone right after the husband and wife leave, only leaving the phone to punish Tom for bothering the baby (when in fact he was returning the baby after it wandered off).
  • The Tiny Toon Adventures short "I Was a Teenage Bunny-Sitter" opens with Babs chatting on the phone with her friend Harriet, but then she has to leave to babysit and says she'll call back. After meeting the parents there, she makes a sandwich and calls Harriet back, only to hang up when she has to make Duncan (the kid she's babysitting) mashed potatoes. At the end of the cartoon, Babs is sleeping on the couch while Duncan is the one chatting on the phone.
Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • November 10, 2012
    surgoshan
    This trope is older than cell phones; it goes back to the proliferation of the home telephone.
  • November 11, 2012
    WeAreAllKosh
    The phenomenon of preferring texting to talking came with the cell phone, however. Never understood it, except maybe when a teen doesn't want anyone (such as parents) overhearing their conversation--but the preference seems to go beyond that. This old fart prefers talking, myself--much more easy, natural, and efficient.
  • November 11, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    UGH I feel like there are so many examples from children's TV in the 90s, but nothing is coming to mind. In the home phone obsessed version the teenager is usually put through the ringer trying to earn the privilege of the phone by her strict parents.

    Sabrina The Teenage Witch must have done this. Even Stevens? Buffy The Vampire Slayer?

    • In the episode of The Simpsons where a fortune teller tells Lisa about her future wedding, teenage Maggie is shown to have her own home phone and always be on it. The joke is, we never hear her voice during the whole episode because Maggie is The Voiceless.
  • November 11, 2012
    shimaspawn
  • November 11, 2012
    bwburke94
    Retitled from Phonemaniac Teen to Phone Maniac Teen. We can add a hyphen later if we want to via custom titles once this is launched.
  • November 11, 2012
    DracMonster
    Phoneaholic Teenager (Or some hyphenated version) seems more elegant to me.
  • November 11, 2012
    Oreochan
    ^ That does sound better.
  • November 11, 2012
    zarpaulus
    A staple of cell phone ads.
  • November 11, 2012
    SKJAM
    • An educational comic book from the 1940s (or so) had this trope as the center of its lesson on party line etiquette. The phone-hogging teen prevents the fire department being called, and eventually loses a gig for his band due to his gabbing on the line.
  • November 12, 2012
    Chabal2
    Paige Fox, being a Bratty Teenage Daughter, is naturally an example. One strip has her on the phone while Annoying Younger Sibling Jason walks past with a cane, bald wig and long beard. "I haven't been one the phone that long!"

  • November 12, 2012
    LancelotG
  • November 12, 2012
    lexicon
    Whether it's maniac or aholic, I think there should be a space between phone and the other word so we can easily see what this is about. As well as Phone Tropes this should be put under Teenage Tropes.

    • In the Seventh Heaven episode No Sex, Some Drugs and a Little Rock 'N Roll, Lucy lives in agony when her parents temporarily forbid her from using the phone, which she was using to talk to her boyfriend even though she was seeing him everyday anyway.
  • November 12, 2012
    Tzintzuntzan
    In pre-cell phone days, this often involved a gag about there being only one phone in the house (or two phones on the same line where each extension could listen in on the other). Which made it impossible for the poor parents to call while the Bratty Teenage Daughter tied things up.

    I can only think of two examples, but there's got to be more. One is a 1989 issue of Mad Magazine, where parents tell the daughter she's been on the phone too long and they need it. Her response: "I think you're both old enough to have a phone of your own!"

    The other is from Alan Sherman's song "Crazy Downtown":

    Cause when you kids are gone we get to spend some time alone here/That's our only chance to use the bathtub or the phone here...
  • November 12, 2012
    AgProv
    Quinn, in Daria.
  • November 12, 2012
    TonyG
    In the Tom And Jerry shorts "Feedin' the Kiddie" and "Tot Watchers", the babysitter left in charge at Tom's house goes straight to the phone right after the husband and wife leave, only leaving the phone to punish Tom for bothering the baby (when in fact he was returning the baby after it wandered off).
  • November 12, 2012
    Chernoskill
    Not sure if this counts...

    In the intro montage of every ALF episode, we see Lynn Tanner in a closet with a telephone, closing the door and being amusingly annoyed by the interruption when ALF open it.
  • November 12, 2012
    nitrokitty
    Truth In Television. A study of cellphone use by the University of Texas at Dallas shows that the average teenager sends, on average, around 110 text message per day.
  • November 12, 2012
    TheHandle
    In Adventure Time, Valley Girl Lumpy Space Princess is constantly gossiping through her mobile phone even though she's homeless and living in a forest, on canned beans.
  • November 12, 2012
    surgoshan
    This definitely showed up in an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Can't recall the specifics, but the Scooby gang knew something was wrong with Buffy because she didn't answer the phone.
    Giles: Well, maybe she simply didn't pick up.
    Xander: It's physically impossible for a teenage girl not to answer the phone.
    Willow: [nods]
  • November 12, 2012
    TheHomaDude
    Web Animation
  • November 14, 2012
    Folamh3
    • The short story "Aliens Don't Eat Bacon Sandwiches" by Helen Dunmore hinges on this trope.
  • November 17, 2012
    TonyG
    Dalia from Suburgatory is rarely seen without her cell phone, usually slumped over it as she texts.
  • November 18, 2012
    NESBoy
    • The Tiny Toon Adventures short "I Was a Teenage Bunny-Sitter" opens with Babs chatting on the phone with her friend Harriet, but then she has to leave to babysit and says she'll call back. After meeting the parents there, she makes a sandwich and calls Harriet back, only to hang up when she has to make Duncan (the kid she's babysitting) mashed potatoes. At the end of the cartoon, Babs is sleeping on the couch while Duncan is the one chatting on the phone.
  • November 21, 2012
    Waterlily
    I saw this a long time ago and can't even remember where it's from but maybe somebody will.

    On some comedy show from the nineties, a mother tries to get her teenage daughter out of bed using increasingly extreme tactics like blaring a megaphone right into her ear and dumping a bucket of cold water on her. Nothing works. Then the phone rings and the girl jumps out of bed, grabs the phone and yells "It's for me!"
  • December 2, 2012
    axelsonfire
  • December 3, 2012
    axelsonfire
    • Candace Flynn from Phineas And Ferb is often shown on the phone with best friend Stacy. She seems to carry her cellphone everywhere as well.
  • December 4, 2012
    BearyScary
    • There have been cellphone-addicted teens on episodes of MTV's True Life.
  • December 10, 2012
    Oreochan
    This will be launched once Winter Break starts, which is next week.
  • December 10, 2012
    polarbear2217
    In The Haunting Hour The Series episode "A Creature Was Stirring", Becky's father has to take her cellphone away mid-conversation to get her to stop talking.
  • December 17, 2012
    Victin
    In an episode of Gravity Falls, one of Wendy's friends suffers from this.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=bbhqckz7ei82llpabcbf8twv&trope=PhoneAholicTeenager