Film / Teen Spirit

Teen Spirit is a Made-for-TV movie that aired on ABC Family on August 7th, 2011. The protagonist of the story is Amber Pollocks, a cruel, arrogant and self-centered girl who gets shocked by a loose wire during her high school prom, right after being unanimously elected prom queen. Upon her death, a Celestial Bureaucrat informs her that if she wants to enter Heaven, she must make up for the way she treated other people by helping unpopular student Lisa Sommers become popular enough to be elected Prom Queen at the school's make-up prom. At first, her and Lisa clash, but over the course of the series, they start to get along as Amber molds her into a strong candidate for Prom Queen. However, things start to go south when Lisa starts blowing off her old friends in favor of the popular crowd that now worships her. Amber, realizing that she's corrupted Lisa and turned her into a worse version of herself, feels guilty and tries to change Lisa back, even if it means resigning herself to Hell.

This movie provides examples of:

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Lisa comes down with a bad case of this, thanks to Amber.
  • Alpha Bitch: Amber. She gets a bit of a rude awakening after dying when she finds out just how many people hated her.
    Amber: You have to help me with this. If you don't, they'll send me to Hell and I don't want to go.
    Lisa:Why not? You'll meet so many people like you.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: No one has anything good to say about Amber at her memorial service.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The people Amber meets on the bus to hell are much worse than her and one of them scoffs at her being there simply because she says she was "a mean girl"
  • The Atoner: In death Amber begins to see the error of her ways and after she has "failed" in her task, accepts her fate to Hell graciously.
  • Bittersweet Ending: It's all good and well that Amber doesn't get to go the Hell, and that Lisa finally becomes as content with life as can be by finding the happy middle-ground between unpopular and popular... but the fact that Amber actually stays dead even though she did a Heel–Face Turn and became a sympathetic person is somewhat sad. And the movie even ends with another death even though that one was more of an Asshole Victim.
  • Brutal Honesty: The Celestial Bureaucrat on Amber's life.
    "Well, you were a nasty piece of business, weren't you?
  • Celestial Bureaucracy
  • Character Development
  • Cool Loser: Lisa. This proves to be a bit of obstacle to Amber at first, as Lisa has accepted this role and has no interest in being popular or becoming Prom Queen.
  • The Corrupter: Amber is an accidental example to Lisa. She isn't happy about it.
  • Cute Ghost Girl: Amber
  • Deadpan Snarker: Lisa's friend Colin.
    Popular girl: I'm sorry, I thought the virginity club met at lunch to polish their purity rings.
    Colin: Oh golly, that was hilarious. I'm going to process that and laugh at it later.
  • Dueling Movies: Shares some similarities with another ABC Family film released months earlier named Christmas Cupid. Both feature a girl trying to redeem herself in death.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Lisa.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Amber's one is a big driving point of the movie. Lisa also makes one, once she realizes the error of her Face–Heel Turn.
  • Jerkass God: Heaven must have a pretty messed up deity running the place if the reward for making a Heroic Sacrifice to save someone else is eternal damnation.
  • Lemony Narrator: Either Zigzagged or subverted. The movie starts out with one, but a few minutes into the movie, he decides the movie will be better without him, and decides to shut up. He appears to be acting on a whim like any Lemony Narrator is prone to do, but sticks to his decision and doesn't come back for the rest of the movie.
  • Loophole Abuse: Apparently, having the least popular student become Prom King technically meets the requirements of Amber's mission.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Amber develops into this throughout the film.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Lisa near the end. Triggered by her realization that none of her new popular friends could be bothered to come help her, while the friends she ditched were more than happy to.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: The celestial bureaucrat at the end.
  • Parental Neglect: Amber's mother is emotionally neglectful to both of her daughters. After Amber dies, her mother has a Heel Realization....but starts to neglect her other daughter because she's too distraught over Amber's death. Eventually she realizes her error however.
  • Party Scheduling Gambit: Amber gets Lisa to send an e-mail making everyone at school think that Carlita's party is scheduled a day earlier than it actually is, causing people to be disappointed when they show up and there's no party. She then proceeds to invite everyone to her party instead.
  • This Cannot Be!: Lisa's initial reaction to seeing Amber's ghost:
    Amber: can see me.
    Lisa:, no I can't.