When it comes to TV, I'm a huge teen drama enthusiast. You name a show, and I've probably seen it (and have a million thoughts on it that nobody asked to hear).
However, to this day, no teen drama still baffles me quite like The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
The show, which aired from 2008–13, follows 15-year-old Amy Juergens (Shailene Woodley), who gets pregnant from a one-night stand at band camp. I think it's pretty safe to say that it was, um, one-of-a-kind.
Here are some of the most bizarre Secret Life moments that make me wonder why our parents let us watch this:
Note: Number 8 contains references to sexual abuse.
1.OK, so first off, can we just talk about how many times the characters would say the word "sex" every episode? It didn't matter whether it was at school, a family dinner, or the grocery store, sex was sure to come up in pretty much every conversation. You can't convince me anyone talks about it with their parents this much.
2.Who could forget this iconic scene? And they say romance is dead!
3.The poor school counselor, Mr. Molina, seriously went through hell with these kids every day. No wonder the poor guy decided to leave after Season 1.
4.Also, remember when it was revealed that the school's next counselor, Dr. Bink, was fired for going to prom as a student's date? And she claimed it was just because she "loved dancing."
5.The amount of teen pregnancy in this town was honestly concerning. Obviously there was Amy, but then Adrian got pregnant, too, and there were several other teen pregnancies, like Kathy (and even Amy was conceived when her parents were teens). These kids seriously needed proper sex ed.
6.Speaking of, it was pretty wild that keeping and raising the baby was treated as the only valid option for these teens. We all basically knew from the start that Amy would keep her baby (since that's, you know, the whole premise of the show), but abortion and adoption were always pretty quickly dismissed as options throughout the show.
7.Just the way they wrote Adrian's character in general was pretty awful. She was probably one of the only tolerable ones on the show, but looking back, her entire character was riddled with stereotypes and constantly over sexualized.
8.Also, Ricky's traumatic childhood backstory was really sad and super, super heavy for a campy teen show. I know they addressed it with him going to therapy and the whole storyline of his dad trying to pop back into his life, but I don't think it can be overstated just how horrific this was.
9.On a lighter note, Ben and Amy getting "married" in the living room with fake IDs still cracks me up. I love that they never stopped to consider that the marriage wouldn't be valid.
10.But actually, so many high school characters really did get engaged, married, and even divorced on this show. God, can you imagine going straight from gym class to your wedding?
11.We simply must talk about when Grace sincerely believed that she caused her father's death by having sex with Jack. Looking back, this is actually kind of sad, but the way she describes it as "incredible sex" to her mom just makes me lose it.
12.Speaking of Grace, remember the episode "Just Say Me"? She tried to get the girls to stop having sex by encouraging them to masturbate instead, which apparently NOBODY had ever heard of?!
13.Oh, and remember when she read this completely serious poem in front of all her friends? She should have won a Pulitzer for this masterpiece.
14.To this day, I'm still wildly confused by this show's insistence that Bologna, Italy is known for oral sex. I've googled this and cannot find ANY evidence that this is a thing.
15.Sometimes the dialogue that came out of these teenagers' mouths was just too damn much, guys.
16.Who could ever forget the extremely brave, heartbreaking story of how Griffin got beat up in elementary school for having a crush on Al Gore?
17.The parents also had SO much drama going on. I know it was a small town or whatever, but it seemed like everyone's parents hooked up with each other at some point.
18.Also, the parents were always busy jetting off somewhere. This was especially true in the case of Adrian's mom, who frequently left her teenage daughter alone overnight (and her dad, who wasn't in the picture for most of her life).
19.What was the deal with Betty's whole character? Everyone was so rude to her and felt the need to shame her every two seconds.
20.The way the whole town, including the adults, treated Grace nearly getting assaulted as one big joke was seriously messed up. They even played the video footage on the local news as a comedy bit!
21.And finally, what the hell was that ending? Amy just jets off to school in New York and leaves her son behind?!
Sigh...oh, Secret Life. How did you last for five seasons?