Take Justin Bieber for example. The 18-year-old superstar has released his second album Believe this week and is even on course to top the UK charts ahead of the mighty Miss Cheryl Cole.
While we were having a cheeky listen to his new record and despairing as 'Boyfriend' creeps ever closer to our Top 25, Tube Talk started thinking about the teen figures from TV land who have garnered the same mass of screaming fans as the Biebs. Was your school lunchbox pleastered with pictures of any of these teen idols?
James Van Der Beek - Dawson's Creek
Joshua Jackson might have been the cool girl's choice, but say the words "teen idol" and we can't help but think of the strong-jawed, floppy-haired dreamboat James Van Der Beek. Dawson's Creek left many a teenager's heart fluttering and a big part of that was down to Dawson himself, all heartsick and lovelorn. And our crush on James has continued throughout the years as he's proved himself to be able to make fun of himself and Dawson's ugly-cry, whether it's on Funny or Die or Don't Trust The B**** In Apartment 23. We may not ever get over Mr Leery.
Watch James Van Der Beek crying on Dawson's Creek below:
David Cassidy - The Partridge Family
We're going back in time to the 1970s now, but even today women of a certain age go weak at the knees at the mention of David Cassidy. A member of The Partridge Family, David wowed the girls with his luscious locks and safely cool demeanour. He wasn't too dangerous, but he wasn't too goodie-goodie either - a perfect combination. And who couldn't fall for songs like 'Daydreamer' and and 'How Can I Be Sure'? It's not a surprise he was followed around by hysterical girls wherever he went.
Watch a clip of David Cassidy in The Partridge Family below:
Miley Cyrus - Hannah Montana
Before she was doing adult things like allegedly smoking "too much weed" and getting frickin' engaged, little Miley Cyrus was just Hannah Montana, the sweet but spunky schoolgirl who moonlighted as a pop star. We could have put the faces of pretty much all of Disney's teen stars on a board and lobbed darts at them (as we have done many times before) to pick an entry for this list. However, it was the wholesome thrills of Miley's double life that arguably had the biggest impact on those kids that literally grew up with her, all the while dreaming of greatness and grappling with identity issues. That horrendously catchy theme tune seemed to be every pre-teen girl's favourite song. Don't pretend you don't know the words.
Watch Miley Cyrus in the the opening to Hannah Montana below:
Mark-Paul Gosselaar - Saved By The Bell
Quick show of hands, who recognises right off the bat the name Mark-Paul Gosselaar? Very few of you, we'd imagine. But how about Zack Morris? Exactly... do we even need to continue explaining this pick? Zack was everyone's favourite thing about everyone's favourite piece of '90s teen cheese, Saved By The Bell. King of Bayside High, unchallenged leader of Screech (Dustin Diamond), Slater (Mario Lopez) Kelly (Tiffani-Amber Thiessen) and co, Zack was so cool that he had the ability to stop time. Girls wanted to have their first kiss with Mark-Paul, boys wanted to be like him and he was actually quite a good role model - he proved you could be both smart and cool, popular and still friends with everyone. We're kind of glad Gosselaar melted everyone's hearts.
Watch Zach and the boys perform 'Barbara Ann' below:
Melissa Joan Hart - Sabrina The Teenage Witch/Clarissa Explains It All
If you were a youngster at any point between 1991 and 2003, then you knew who Melissa Joan Hart was - or at least would be able to recognise her as Clarissa or Sabrina. It takes some charm to continue being a teen idol for 12 years, and going from one iconic role to an even bigger one is an even greater achievement. The key to Melissa Joan's success was completely unremarkable - in fact it was normality itself. In Clarissa, her titular character made it through everyday issues with optimism and a delicious wit. Yes, she may have had magical powers in Sabrina, but the character still spent most of her time getting into cringe-worthy screw-ups and casting harmless, but totally cool spells. The worst she ever did with her powers was get even on bitchy types giving her hassle at school - something pretty much every viewer would love to do. Melissa Joan was the teenage ideal, for both the kids themselves and their parents, and when it comes to assessing her popularity that really explains it all.
Who was your teen idol growing up? Leave your comments below!