Young People Depicted as Dumb

Table Of Contents

Main Description

Conservatives as a propaganda tactic love to falsely claim that young people vote Democratic because they do not know any better. And as people grow older, they become smarter and vote Republican (not the case). Young people today are more likely to go to college and benefit from modern technologies like the Internet which makes learning easier. They are also less likely to drop out of school compared to older generations. Yet, younger generations are much more often stereotypically singled out as dumb in movies & TV shows with their voice, mannerisms & behavior compared to older generations. We list some notable examples we've found below.

Conservative Trope Examples

  • We're the Millers (2013)
    Casey Mathis (Emma Roberts) goes out with a boy who talks using stereotypical dumb young people slang and has a misspelled "No Ragrets" tattoo on his collar bone that when asked says he has no regrets about getting it.
  • Fool's Gold (2008)
    Gemma has a "revelation" that her father Nigel "unconsciously" named his yacht, Precious Gem, after her. He doesn't correct her and clarifies that he intentionally named it after her upon which she insists again he did it "unconsciously."
  • Ocean's Eleven (2001)
    Rusty (Brad Pitt) teaches four young male and one female television actor how to play cards, and they are all depicted as really bad and dumb including someone laying down a non-matching flush saying "all red". Daniel Ocean (George Clooney) comes in later and wins a really big pot taking advantage of their stupidity.
  • PCU (1994)
    A group referred to as "Jerry Town" ala Jerry Garcia are portrayed as a bunch of lazy, irresponsible pot smoking hippies who cannot focus and talk in over-the-top stereotypical stoner voices.
  • PCU (1994)
    A student protester yells, "Free Nelson Mandela" and his buddy explains to him that they freed him already.
  • Back to the Future Part II (1989)
    An older Biff tries to reason with a younger version of himself after traveling back in time, but it takes a lot of explaining as his younger self is portrayed as overly dumb.
    Staff Aside
    Biff starts out caricaturely dumb but becomes smart as he gets older. Older Biff isn't just more experienced or wiser, he's actually smart. This is taken to be normal as young people on screen are often portrayed as not as smart as older people.
  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
    Spicoli (Sean Penn) is depicted as a lazy, dumb loser with an over the top accent who does poorly in school. Their use of pot is stereotyped as over the top bad making Spicoli very lazy & irresponsible including showing up very late to class because he couldn't figure out where his classroom was.
  • Animal House (1978)
    The entire Delta fraternity has failing GPAs with 1.2, 0.2, 1.6 and 0.0 which is played for laughs because they spend more time partying and having fun instead of taking college seriously.