Confusion, Boredom, Disgust: Faces Of Adults At The Teen Choice Awards

A lot of things stood between me and the Teen Choice Awards. Mainly adulthood, which meant I was watching full of questions: why was everyone screaming so much? Who were these people? Why are some people wearing shorts and others wearing semi-formalwear? Another problem was my rip-roaring “Sunday night in my late 20s” schedule – how would I fold laundry, take a shower, dust the downstairs, do crunches AND eat half a box of Kashi sea salt crackers while watching this mess?

So I may not have watched the entire show, but I was heartened by the solidarity  I felt with the non-teens in the audience, whose faces betrayed them: their choice was to be anywhere but at these awards.

Josh Peck, a 28-year-old, exhorted the children in the audience to look up from their phones. When Josh Peck and I were teens (shoutout to the 1986 babies!) the only reason you’d be looking down at your phone is if you were in the middle of a particularly long game of Snake.

Scott Earnestwood, an adult man, is perplexed. Our face exactly, Scott.

John Stamos, a famous uncle, gives side-eye to his younger self – something I often do figuratively but never IRL.

Sarah Hyland, who can vote and drink in all 50 states, tripped… then dropped an f-bomb, because she’s an adult and she can.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi, a married couple, celebrated their seven-year anniversary at the Teen Choice Awards … because see, when you’re a full-fledged grown-up you get stuck doing work stuff on your birthday or anniversary a lot of the time.

Britney Spears, a mom, brought her cute kids and niece along because “mom, we don’t HAVE a bedtime on summer vacation” and also because her sons are now closer in age to Baby One More Time-era Britney than Britney is.

Nina Dobrev, former teen/ current 26-year-old, delivered a big “see ya later, suckers!” to the teen vampire genre.

And finally, Gabourey Sidibe, not a girl not yet a woman, decided to just go with it:

Who Even ARE You? : Teen Choice Awards Edition

Back in my day, the Teen Choice Awards were all about the best in music, movies and TV, with only 16 categories and Britney Spears won all the surfboards. Now there are like 90+ and there’s an entire category dedicated to web stars. Before you say, ‘Now Traci, you sound so curmudgeonly, like the adults who complained when the internet first came out’ and I KNOW THIS. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy a good Vine or entertaining YouTube video, but good LAWD there are so many of them.

But I can’t say I’m surprised. A recent study showed that YouTube stars are more popular than mainstream stars among teenagers. That means some dudes named Smosh are technically more popular than Jennifer Lawrence and TBH IDK what to do with that kind of information. It leads into a whole other discussion that I find fascinating – the fact that not only are celebrities so much more accessible than they were even 10 years ago, but that literally anyone can be a celebrity, and both are perpetuated by social media.

I guess it’s just a different world than a decade ago – which brings me to my ultimate point – we are old. We are old, and not the target demographic for the Teen Choice Awards anymore. Which explains why I don’t know who a lot of the internet nominees are, and it doesn’t even matter that I don’t. Despite the fact I consider myself to be fairly knowledgable with pop culture, this is a whole other world of the internet that is completely beyond me. So to make the rest of you feel just as old as I do, here are just some of the folks that either won or were nominated for TCAs this year – and are infinitely more popular than you are and ever will be.

*Um, I feel like I should write a disclaimer reminding anyone reading this under the age of 18 that I am a 28 year OLD lady so please no trolling. Save that for your YouTubes and your Vines and your Tumblrs. Okay. Go on.

Cameron Dallas

{Winner, Choice Male Viner}

This dude apparently has more than 5 million subscribers on Vine. He also got butt hurt when he found out that the TCAs are rigged. I mean, I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news but, this is the Teen Choice Awards. Tell any adult this and they won’t be surprised.

The Janoskians


Okay, so I had definitely heard of this group in my internet travels, but as I was doing research for this very post, I realized that I had been calling them by the wrong name in my head – the “Jankosians”. I honestly thought they were a group of like Armenian brothers who did stuff on YouTube HAHAHAHAHA In fact, they’re a bunch of Australian pranksters whose name is an acronym for Just Another Name Of Silly Kids In Another Nation, which honestly the Armenian backstory is more believable. They are made up of 5 guys between the ages of 18 and 21 (three of which are brothers), and have racked up over 108 million views on YouTube. They also sing and have a song legit called “This Freakin/Fuckin Song”. Oh and one of them dated (I think they broke up again?) Ariana Grande. Slash when they were on the blue carpet at the TCAs, one of them got up on one of the surfboards while the other dudes lifted him up and he ended up falling and needed a neck brace? I think it was a prank? But ugh.



Smosh is a comedy duo made of Ian Andrew Hecox and Anthony Padilla who are super famous on YouTube and have more than 18 million subscribers with over 3.4 billion views. They have eight Smosh related channels on YouTube and I didn’t even realize that the demand for more video content could be so high that they have to fill 8 channels. I can barely get people to watch one of my stupid videos.

Becky G


Becky G got famous the Justin Bieber way – by posting her own covers and remixes of pop songs. She’s gone on to collaborate with Cher Lloyd and Kesha, and has a song out called Shower, which I’m embarassed to say I heard before she performed it on the TCAs. Becky G was a last-minute replacement for Rita Ora, and my main takeaway from the first 45 seconds of her performance before I muted it was that it sounded like she came front the same training camp as Rebecca Black.

O2L (OurSecondLife)

{Winners, Web Star: Comedy}

O2L is the first “vlogger supergroup,”, which means they’re a group of boys from their mid to late teens who talk about their lives – or at least the interesting parts, i guess – on YouTube. Relatedly, do you guys remember the game Second Life? I had a friend that was super into it. And also, Dwight Schrute was into it too. Basically that’s the first thing I thought of when I saw this “supergroup”.

Troye Sivan

{Winner, Web Collaboration}

Um I just got sidetracked for about 40 minutes watching videos of this kid on YouTube. So he won best Web Collaboration for this “Boyfriend Tag” video with (the seemingly divisive) Tyler Oakley and apparently they’re like one of the most popular OTPs out there in the internet (search the #Troyler tag). I got sucked in because Troye is actually this adorable Australian kid and he has an EP coming out soon because he’s also a singer. Now I understand how people can just watch these videos all day.

Jack & Jack

{Nominees, Choice Viner}

These two have been BFFs since they were practically babies and have amassed over 4 million followers on Vine. They also are a hip-hop duo, because apparently all internet celebrities are also musicians.

Zoe “Zoella” Sugg

{Winner, Web Star: Fashion/Beauty}

Zoe is a super adorable chick from the U.K. and I have major hair envy. When she first started vlogging her beauty tips, she worked at an interior design company, and now she’s one of Britain’s top social media influencers, and has even scored a book deal. She’s also dating this other famous YouTuber called Alfie and they’re a popular OTP too (#Zalfie). Oh internet. You are too much.