Whether you grew up on Dawson’s Creek, The O.C., or, more recently, Awkward, teen dramas were an important part of your childhood. As you took your first underage drinks, doubted your parents, and tried desperately not to leave high school a virgin, so did your favorite TV characters. It seems that show creators are sensitive to this relationship. As a result, the experience of watching a teen drama is closely tied to the act of growing up itself. This might might also explain why every teen drama pilot is pretty much the same.
Sure, the show in question might follow popular kids, nerds, or even vampires, but the basic beats are essentially identical, regardless of whom the plot follows. There's going to be an awkward outsider in the middle of things. He or she will be going through some heart-rending unrequited love. You’d better believe at one point or another they will end up at party, whether it’s a backwoods kickback, a suburban rager, or citified formal.
Though the setting changes from small town simplicity to big city glamour to neo-gothic vampire-scape, the backbones of these shows look strikingly similar. Here are 15 Things You See in Every Teen Drama Pilot.