Looking through a screen makes you feel alright."
A teenager who treats her (and it is almost Always Female) landline phone or cell phone as if it were the most important thing in the world and is on it constantly. This almost always leads to an insanely high bill. If she uses a cellphone, she may feel more comfortable texting than actually interacting with other people. When she has to babysit kids, she might not care about them. Her preferred place if the phone is wireless or a cell phone is her bedroom, and she will be invariably shown lying prone on her bed, languidly kicking her legs back and forth and/or wriggling her feet while gossiping with some female friend, or maybe her boyfriend. Rarely, she might be doing likewise at a payphone, while The Hero desperately waits to use it.
When put in danger, she might treat Social Media Before Reason. Or she might find out firsthand that Cell Phones Are Useless. In The New '10s, this might include the temptation to take a selfie before even considering to put herself out of danger or taking a selfie in an inappropriate place (such as at a memorial, or on the edge of a cliff, or in a house of worship), or taking "too many" selfies (and uploading all of them to social media).
This trope is older than cell phones; it goes back to the proliferation of the home telephone. In the days before cell phones, 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). This made it impossible for the poor parents to call while the Bratty Teenage Daughter tied things up. And in The '90s, when the only Internet available to residential homes was 56K dial-up, someone was trying to go on the Internet while she tied up the phone yakking with her friends or playing No, You Hang Up First with her boyfriend. For this reason, some parents would (if they could afford it) get her a dedicated phone line of her own and/or a dedicated phone line for the Internet modem.
As teenagers started moving from landlines to mobile phones for their communication, as well as internet access being replaced from dial-up modem to a separate cable or DSL line, the trope mutated into its modern incarnation, where the teenager spends every waking minute of the day texting and talking over their smartphone.
Classic trait for the Alpha Bitch, Valley Girl, Bratty Teenage Daughter, and other teenage stereotypes. Technologically Blind Elders is the flip side of this trope. Selfie Fiend is a related trope where someone loves taking photos of themself with their phone.
- This commercial has a young man living with his parents constantly on his phone, with the narration noting that he had to move back home after college and his parents had hoped he'd be motivated to find a job. Subverted in that he is motivated; he's using the Indeed.com app on his phone to look for jobs, and by the end, he has three interviews lined up.
- There's a commercial in which a family is getting ready to travel to another country on vacation, and the parents are gleeful at the idea of not getting cell service there, meaning their kids might actually have to talk to one another instead of using their phones. While the younger boy asks "Should we?", his sister is visibly disgusted as she says "No".
- Ryuu Zaou from Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! is a Rare Male Example; whenever he isn't talking to the other characters, he's usually on his phone texting or calling girls.
- Hokkaido Gals Are Super Adorable!: Minami doesn't wear gloves in winter so she can still use her phone.
- Downplayed with Tsukasa from Lucky Star; while she's not obsessed with her cellphone, she briefly becomes addicted to texting after she gets the hang of it. It gets to the point that she texts Kagami constantly (even though they're twin sisters who spend most of their time together) and adds an entire wall of emojis at the end of one text, and the Hiiragi family's phone bill skyrockets from her texting habits alone.
- Episode 4 of Massugu ni Ikou revolves around the dogs hating their teenage owners' new cellphones. They spend too much time on them and they're too loud for dogs. This results in Mametarou and his friends trying to throw away the cellphones.
- Meru Otonashi from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei is the trope taken to the extreme - she only ever communicates through ultra-snarky phone messages, being completely antisocial otherwise. And if her phone is taken, no worries; she has dozens.
- Midori from Space Patrol Luluco is a middle school girl, but still is never seen without her space smartphone in her hands. Justified since she's a Gyaru Girl stereotype and because the illegal black hole app she uses is actually a plot point.
- Downplayed in Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. Throughout episode 1, Mirai is shown constantly glued to her cellphone, where she blogs and texts with friends. However, while outside the next day an earthquake occurs. Her priorities are on things besides her phone for the remainder of the series (though it helps that she can't get a signal).
- Robin: Tim spends a lot of time on the phone with Stephanie, especially when they're separated. While working with The Flash Wally finds Tim hard to get ahold of without running to Tim's location because Tim's busy using the phone to talk to Steph.
- Wonder Woman (1987): While it's not a phone Kris Lazarus is glued to his handheld game system until he ends up mortally wounded. There are plenty of signs he was a pretty nice and considerate kid despite his gaming addiction, but when his grieving father tried to recreate him as an AI the only thing that seems to have made it across is that gaming addiction, which does not mix well with his father's explosively unstable Hard Light AI experiments.
- In chapter 2 of Albus Potter and the Dragonfang Wand of the Albus Potter Series, it is said that James and his girlfriend Denise are like this with their owls.
- Chosen One's Adventure with Legendaries: Ash has been called out for spending too much time glued to his phone, even in emergencies, but it's justified since his phone is his link to the Legendary chat, so it's his only way to understand what's going on. Also, after he catches Marshadow, it's one of the only ways he can directly understand his Pokémon.
- Fates Collide: Oda Nobunaga is constantly on her scroll, even in class. She even looks at her scroll instead of paying attention to her best friend Okita Souji's sword duel with Blake Belladonna, pissing Okita off.
- Fanart of The Loud House characters set in various decades of the 20th century will have Lori talking to Bobby on a period-appropriate telephone.
- Shigeko Kageyama AKA Mob When Mob (gender-swapped) gets back on her phone after something traumatic happens, and it does often, Reigen is always reassured that she's still just the same old kid.
- Cody Jr. from Total Drama Legacy is a Rare Male Example. Due to his obsession with memes and social media, he's always on his cell phone. In fact, when he gets eliminated in "Did Somebody Say Pancakes?", the first thing he does is pull out his cell phone and start an AMA on Reddit.
- Deadpool (2016): Negasonic Teenage Warhead just has to finish a text before she can help in the final battle.
- Don Jon: The hero's sister, Monica, spends the whole movie silently browsing/texting on her phone, until she finally speaks near the end.
- Gran Torino: Ashley is an incredibly unpleasant example, being more upset about getting coverage than the fact that she's at her own grandmother's funeral.
- Infamous (2020): Arielle will not put her phone down even while committing armed robbery.
- I Saw What You Did: When Libby and Kit are making prank phone calls, her father doesn't think it at all strange that the phone has been engaged for two hours.
- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle: Bethany's Establishing Character Moment is her elaborately staging a 'casual' selfie, she gets detention for talking on her phone while the class is supposed to be taking a quiz, complains that she has got no reception while doing detention, and complains constantly about not having her phone when she is trapped in the game, to the point where Alex asks her if the word 'phone' means something different in the future. That being said, she's given a more nuanced portrayal than the trailers imply; when the others complain about her complaining about not having a phone, she points out that having a phone with reception would be pretty damn helpful right now.
- Knives Out: Jacob Thrombey is a dark version of this: a sixteen-year-old "literal Nazi" whose constant smartphone use is in the service of racist trolling.
- The eponymous character's youngest sister Penelope is this in Muriel's Wedding.
- Mystery Road: Julie is a lot of texts on her phone and Jasmine (the neighbor of another missing girl) spends most of the conversation with Jay looking at her phone instead of him.
- Flash Thompson is this in Spider-Man: Far From Home, as he's constantly on his phone live-streaming his European vacation to his followers, whom he calls "the Flash-mob".
- A rare male example: Oliver "O-Man" Chamberlain in The World's End. As an adult, he hasn't outgrown this behavior.
- Darby and the Dead: Piper is almost always seen on her phone when she's not practicing or otherwise engaged.
- Salama from Amagi Brilliant Park can't stop using Twitter on her phone and even talks in hashtags. While it's not clear if she really is a teenager, as she's a fairy, her youthful appearance does help get this trope across.
- Newspaper columnist D. L. Stewart recounts, via his book Fathers Are People Too, how his teenage daughter was this. It got even worse after he got her a phone of her own when she was fifteen. According to the book, her phone started ringing twenty seconds after it was installed, she ran up to answer it and wasn't seen again for three months.
- Played darkly with Kim from ghostgirl. She was a cellphone-obsessed teenage girl who died of radiation from her cellphone. This has earned her the "dead name" of "Call Me Kim".
- A lot of the characters in Simple Complications are regularly using their phones, but Kira's younger sister Aiko really fits this trope as she didn't even bother to look away from it when talking with Kira.
- In 4400, LaDonna seems way more concerned about DHS taking away her cellphone than about the fact that she has ended up six years into her future and is being detained by the government.
- On 8 Simple Rules, Bridget Hennessey was this. In an episode in which each member of the Hennessey family had to temporarily give up a bad habit, Bridget's was talking on the phone too much.
- Better Things: Sam often complains her kids (particularly Max and Duke) are on their phones too much.
- Zoey from Blackish is the stereotypical teenage daughter who isn't very affectionate towards her family. She's typically seen texting or talking on her cellphone. She is a popular kid at school but doesn't seem to be an Alpha Bitch or Bratty Teenage Daughter.
- 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.
- Made fun of on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy isn't responding to the Scoobies trying to call her. Giles suggests she might just have her phone unplugged, but Xander responds "It's a statistical impossibility for a teenage girl to unhook her phone."
- Jeff Winger from Community is rarely seen without his cellphone, texting or using Twitter.
- Doctor Who: In "Arachnids in the UK", Yaz Khan's younger sister Sonya spends the entirety of her screen time either holding or using her smartphone.
- Ginny and Georgia: Max jokingly says she'd have her phone surgically grafted to her hand if she could.
- In The Girl From Plainville Michelle and Conrad's relationship develops almost exclusively over text. His sisters are seen on their phones during mass.
- Teddy Duncan from Good Luck Charlie. One episode even had her trying to get a job to pay the phone bill when Bob took her phone away for being $90 over the limit.
- In The Good Place, while certainly not a teenager, Bad Janet's fixation with her phone is clearly meant to evoke this stereotype and is one glaringly negative character trait. She's is always on it and only tears herself away from it when doing something cruel.
- In The Haunting Hour episode "A Creature Was Stirring", Becky's father has to take her cell phone away mid-conversation to get her to stop talking.
- House of Cards (US) does it early in season 1: some teenage girl crashed her car while texting some sort of joke about the Peachoid, a real-life water tower in Gaffney, South Carolina, and Frank Underwood is being blamed for it because he had a hand in the Peachoid's construction and the structure had often been criticized as a potential distraction for drivers. The girl crashed not because she was distracted by the Peachoid, but because she posted on social media about being distracted by it; however, Frank can't point that out because he'd look like an asshole.
- Stella in Jonas. Her attempt to give up texting results in Sanity Slippage (including ending her sentences with "send").
- In Kim's Convenience, Mrs. Park's daughter Jeanie (who is younger than most of the cast and around protagonist Janet's age ie. about 20 max) makes her debut by texting and looking at her phone non-stop. Her mother and Mrs. Kim have to keep calling out her name to get her attention, to no avail.
- In Longmire, an heir to a phenomenally wealthy family turns up dead, so Walt takes pains to keep the story away from the press while he solves the case. Cue the family's bratty teenager tweeting the news as soon as he overhears it, and subsequently trying to take a selfie with the sheriff and a man claiming to be the dead guy.
- In the pilot for No Ordinary Family, Daphne has a notable texting addiction...even when their plane is crashing. (She gets better afterward.)
Stephanie: Who are you texting now?
- Raven's Home: Nia and Tess use their smartphones so much that "Girls Just Wanna Have Phones" revolves around the two having a contest to see who can go the longest without theirs.
- Stranger Things: Nancy Wheeler is introduced lying on her bed, talking on the phone she has in her room.
- Dalia from Suburgatory is rarely seen without her cell phone, usually slumped over it as she texts.
- There have been teens addicted to cell phones on episodes of MTV's True Life. in particular is the episode "I's Addicted to Texting", and one of the subjects followed was a woman who was married and had a baby.
- In the Tremeloes "Here Comes My Baby" the singer laments he has little chance to introduce himself to the girl he likes: "You never walk alone, and you're forever talking on the phone"
- Foxtrot: 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 on the phone that long!"
- Pretty much all the teens in Zits are this, with some of them developing "carpal thummel" from texting too much.
- Bye Bye Birdie has a musical number about teens spending too much time on the phone called "Telephone Hour". The conversation subject is the news that Kim Mac Affee and Hugo Peabody are going steady, which all the teens are eager to share... except for nerdy Harvey Johnson, who's just trying to find a prom date, with no success.
- Pretty much all of the teenage girls in Fangirls, but especially Jules, who is never seen without her phone in her hand, deletes Brianna's precious photos to free up space, and has a meltdown when Edna almost breaks her phone.
- I and You: Because Caroline is too sick to leave the house, she's grown to depend on her phone to let her stay connected to things outside her house. It's pointed out that when she actually gets to interact with people in person she uses her phone as a way to keep them at a distance, for instance being more preoccupied with friending Anthony on Facebook than his attempts to actually befriend her.
- If Rabbid Peach from Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is not cozying up to Mario, she's taking selfies on her phone.
- The mobile game Marvel Strike Force (surely an ironic place to find this) re-imagines Kamala Khan into one. Her win pose is taking a selfie with her team. When she makes the kill blow on an enemy, she quickly takes a selfie with them before sending them flying out of the ring. Extending arms sure are useful.
- In Monster Prom, Valerie the shopkeeper is presented like this. She always has her phone in hand, often looking at it rather than at the player when they visit her shop. She'll look up from it if she has something to say, but she's also only managing the store to buy a new phone.
- The sequel, Monster Camp, features the new main romanceable option Milo Belladonna, who is even moreso an example of this trope than Valerie, tying in with their status as a social media influencer who enjoys online popularity and keeping up.
- Neptune from We Know the Devil is often looking at her phone while she's stuck at the awful summer camp.
- It's actually a game mechanic in Yandere Simulator. Certain students have the 'Phone Addict' persona, which in terms of gameplay means that they use their phones enough to think to snap a photo of you if they catch you murdering someone, and then send it to the police or upload it to social media, thus giving the police rock-hard proof that you're a murderer. You get arrested, Game Over. Current Phone Addicts are the Bullies (Musume Ronshaku, Kokoro Momoiro, Kashiko Murasaki, Hoshiko Mizudori, and Hana Daidaiyama), and the Gaming Club besides the leader Gema Taku (Midori Gurin, Pippi Osu, Ryuto Ippongo, and Mai Waifu).
- Skipper from Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse very rarely appears without her smartphone.
- In Helluva Boss, Loona, the hellhound receptionist who's in her early 20's but also the youngest member of the cast, is almost always fixated on her cell phone. This interferes with her job, which is part of Moxxie's complaints about her in the pilot. It's later revealed that she had the same phone when she living in at the hellhound adoption center, and her cell phone addition may be a result of her troubled childhood.
- This trope is exploited in "Seeing Stars". Octavia, Stolas's 17-year-old daughter, is also a regular social media user. When she steals the Grimoire and runs off to Los Angeles, she has a habit of taking selfies in front of places she visits and posting them on Sinstagram. This is what allows Loona to track her down and bring her home.
- The Most Popular Girls in School: Mrs. Zales is an adult version of this, which negatively impacts her relationship with her family.
- Johny from Siblings. It shows in the episode "Runesuck".
- Sonic In X Minutes: In the "Forces" series, Infinite starts off as a stoic, perpetually uninterested character who is always looking down at a smartphone. While it's unknown how old Infinite is, he has the spirit of this trope, and most of the animal characters in the Sonic franchise are teenagers anyway. But later in the series, as Infinite starts getting more focus, he stops using the smartphone and takes a more active role in the story.
- In Grrl Power, when Tamatha disappears it's immediately obvious to Sydney she's been kidnapped because
- In Jupiter-Men, Jackie grabs Quintin by the collar and screams at him for how much trouble he's getting them in for defying his grounding to find his camera after their mom left Jackie in charge. She's on the verge of tears over the thought of having her phone taken away.
- The Last Halloween: Shirley is practically glued to her cell phone, and one of the first things monsters do when getting into the world is create social media accounts. It becomes a plot point when it turns out Shirley knows the Phagocyte's son.
Robert: So. You personally know this fellow we're questing after?
Shirley: Yeah, we're friends.
Robert: I was unaware you had other friends.
Shirley: You really need to learn about the internet, I don't just stand around typing into the void all day. These are actual people I'm talking to.
- Daughter from Dad is often seen on her phone, either in order to talk to Griffin, or to put on music Dad finds annoying. She spends the entire 4K-Subscriber special using Mom's phone, and after she gets a new phone from a server agent, she's seen using two phones at once.
- From The Onion: Brain-Dead Teen, Only Capable Of Rolling Eyes And Texting, To Be Euthanized.
- Adventure Time: The 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.
- The Amazing World of Gumball: Hot Dog Guy is often seen using his cell phone since Season 4, even at school. In "The Awkwardness", Gumball mocks him typing on his phone.
- Animaniacs: Played with when Katie Ka-Boom hides in a closet carrying three conversations on a phone with a long, tangled cord for her mother to trace. Later in the same cartoon, a boy from school tries to call Katie while her dad is on the phone, and when her dad takes the call but doesn't catch the boy's name for her, she goes ka-boom.
- The Crumpets: Caprice and her friend Cassandra. Caprice frequently uses her phone for social media or chatting Cassie.
- Daria: Quinn is often seeing tying up the house phone line to talk with the Fashion Club. Hilariously, this even applies to a period of time where she was grounded, where you would expect phone privileges to be revoked.
- Gravity Falls: Tambry is rarely seen not looking at her phone. According to Wendy in one episode, the fact that she was looking up from her phone for extended periods was evidence she was having the best time of her life. She uses it less when she starts dating her friend Robbie.
- Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: "Number, Please" involves Kaz confiscating Ami's phone because she uses it so frequently that he's saddled with a very expensive phone bill. While the real Ami and Yumi are adults, their animated counterparts are canonically 16.
- Kaeloo: While the characters have a Vague Age, Pretty definitely counts as a phoneaholic. Anytime she's not being mean to the rest of the cast or stalking Mr. Cat, she's on her phone.
- Les Sisters: Wendy, and all of her friends, spend most of their time on their phones, texting each other and watching videos. It's sometimes made a plot point for Marine, Sandrine, and/or William to try to get her to do something else.
- The Loud House:
- If Lori's not being mean to her younger siblings (especially Lincoln), she's usually calling or texting her boyfriend Bobby.
- Inverted with Lily, a baby, who shows signs of growing up to be this. It makes her similar to her oldest sister Lori.
- Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2023):
- 13-year-old Casey, Lunella's best friend and PR girl, always holds her phone with her to record her friend's superhero exploits on social media. In "Moon Girl Landing", she briefly shows more concern that her knocked-out phone is okay over Lunella's embarrassing first hero outing, for which she apologizes.
- When under the possession of a teenager, the alien symbiote Syphonator becomes a monstrous rare male example. He specifically has a second pair of arms to always be texting and trolling on the internet, while trying to pummel Lunella with his free arms.
- My Little Pony (Generation 5): Pipp Petals is obsessed with social media and is a popular influencer, to the point that her livestreams in My Little Pony: A New Generation gets live news coverage and most of Zephyr Heights stops what they're doing to watch her. It sometimes enters Social Media Before Reason, as she does a livestream of Sunny and Izzy arriving in Zephyr Heights in spite of the queen wanting to keep the non-pegasi ponies' appearance under wraps.
- Phineas and Ferb: Candace is often shown on the phone with best friend Stacy. She seems to carry her cellphone everywhere as well.
- Summer in Rick and Morty is this, always texting and taking selfies whenever she has free time, even while at the table eating with her family. She can put it away whenever she needs to, like when going on an adventure, however.
- Alisa, Susie Carmichael's older sister, is rarely seen without her cell phone.
- All Grown Up!: In "Petition This", almost every student is one of these at school. Fed up with this, Kimi decides to start a petition drive to ban the use of cell phones in school. Angelica, however, isn't going to stand for this and is determined to stop Kimi by fair means or foul.
- The Simpsons: In an episode where a fortuneteller tells Lisa about her future wedding, teenage Maggie is shown to have her own home phone and always be on it. The joke is that we never hear her voice during the whole episode because Maggie is The Voiceless.
- South Park: He's not a teenager, but, in "Buddha Box", Cartman claims being left alone with his cellphone is the only remedy for anxiety, so the titular box enables him to isolate himself entirely from his surroundings with it. Pretty soon half the town uses it, not just kids.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Kooky Cooks", Pearl spends most of the episode staring at her phone while also serving Mr. Krabs and Mrs. Puff their food.
- Teen Titans Go!: When Starfire is given the power to "talk like an earth teen" she is practically attached to her new smartphone. When she loses this power, she tosses the device away.
- Tiny Toon Adventures:
- "I Was a Teenage Bunny-Sitter" (part of "The Acme Home Shopping Show") 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 mashed potatoes for Duncan (the kid she's babysitting). At the end of the cartoon, Babs is sleeping on the couch while Duncan is the one chatting on the phone.
- "Take Elmyra Please": Amanda Duff, Elmyra's older sister, is seen talking on the phone with her friend, Stephanie. She has to call her back later when her Mother needs her help calming her baby brother back to sleep when he awakens from his crib and causes a mini-rampage through the living room. During her conversation, she tells Stephanie she's lucky to live with a family whose parents are always gone and without brothers, sisters, or pets.
- Tom and Jerry: In "Busy Buddies" 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 2023 Total Drama reboot gives us Julia, who is usually seen with a smartphone in hand, usually browsing through social media or keeping her followers updated on the competition. It's revealed in the first episode that she sneaked various phones past Chris and Chef, as phones are strictly prohibited from the competition. Justified, considering that she's a teenage girl.
- Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race: Kitty has a habit of regularly taking selfies during the race. She's so obsessed with it that in "Hawaiian Honeyruin" during a game of charades she chooses a camera.
- We Bare Bears: Panda may or may not be an actual teenager, but he's constantly on his phone blogging, using various day-to-day apps, or refreshing dating apps. (Mostly the last one.)
- Young Justice: A tie-in comic uses this as a cover-up, The Team goes to a diner and takes up a booth. Seemingly quietly texting and not socializing (which older diner staff comment on) when they are really using the phones to look over things from a recent mission, and are talking through telepathy.