Write/play a character who is a rebel.
As a celebration for 300 followers, I’ve decided to write some guides on some of the most commonly misplayed characters on Tumblr - here’s one of them. We’ll be focusing on rebels. In this guide, you will see what the stereotypes of a rebel are, debunking the facts and myths of these stereotypes, some suggested personality traits that a rebel may have, some suggested backgrounds that will tell why they have taken to the “rebel” lifestyle, some FCs who have a “rebel” type look, and lastly, a playlist for characters who are rebels. Enjoy!
Note: I am in no way saying this is an end-all, beat-all guide on how to play rebel characters. I have simply done research and drawn upon my own experiences with rebels. If you feel you have a different interpretation on how a rebel would act, feel free to use that interpretation instead! If you have any suggestions or tips on how to improve this guide, shoot me an ask and I’ll do it right away!
What are the stereotypes of a rebel?
You know who they are - or at least you know their stereotype. Leather jacket, motorcycle, flask of alcohol, an a general “give ‘em hell” attitude towards figures of authority, these are the boys and girls your parents warned you about. They like to party, have sex, drink do drugs - basically everything your parents told you not to do, they do it. They don’t care what you think, and they’re determined to make sure that you know it. They’re determined to show they’re not like everyone else, and that they’re different, and they’re not scared to go to extreme lengths to show it.
According to helium.com, here is the definition of a stereotypical rebel:“A small group of high school students fall under the category ‘rebels.’Such people are a minority and they like being such. Rebels focus on demonstrating how different they are. They dress individually and avoid the company of popular students. Rebels denounce fashions and high school trends. Being different is a driving force.
Scorn and disrespect for authority characterize rebels. As a result, these students often have problems with teachers.”
So to sum things up, stereotypical rebels are:
- Opinionated - Stereotypical rebels have opinions that often contrast the opinions of figures of authority (parents, teachers, etc.) and are very stubborn on the opinion that their opinions are right. As a result, they treat figures of authority, and other students with differing opinions, with disrespect and rudeness, and may often argue with them.
- Independent (or rebellious, if that floats your boat) - These rebels don’t like follow the rules that have been carved out for them. They like to do their own thing, even if it’s against what their parents or teachers have drilled into their heads.
- Partiers - Rebels like to party, drink every drink, try out all the drugs they can get their hands on, have all the sex they can have, tag on walls they shouldn’t, trespass… The list goes on. Basically, they enjoy doing everything that’s considered immoral.
- Apathetic - Stereotypical rebels don’t care about what you, society, or anybody else thinks. They want to do what they want and they don’t give a damn. Sometimes that isn’t the case, though.
- Pretentious - These kids are different - they know it. Sometimes this is the product of apathy - but sometimes they embrace it, they enjoy it, and they do whatever they can to keep it up. Being different is a driving force, like the excerpt says. These kids like to openly reject things that are considered “popular” by “normal” high school kids in order to maintain their “rebel” status. If you’re not exactly like them, you can bet they’ll turn their noses up at you and ignore you, and they will go out of their way to do every immoral thing in the book.
What parts of the stereotype are true, and which parts of them are false?
Let’s start with the parts of the stereotype that aren’t true. The following parts of the rebel stereotype are false:
- They are NOT pretentious. True rebels don’t care. That’s it. They don’t care. They don’t try to do anything to impress anyone, they aren’t a part of this lifestyle to seem “cool”, they are doing this because they want to. They do everything for themselves. They hang out with who they like, no matter where you’re from. They wear what they like and listen to what they like without a single thought on whether or not someone will like them. Not to sound haughty here, but the “rebels” that are pretentious are usually posers.
- They are NOT ALL NECESSARILY partiers. Sure, some of them like to party and do drugs and have pre-maritial sex and the whole shtick. They do that because they like it. Not all rebels necessarily like to party and drink - some of them like to sit around reading, or listening to music, or playing an instrument, or sports, or whatever. I know some people who are considered “rebellious” who actually HATE partying.
Now that that’s covered, let’s talk about the rebel stereotypes that ARE true:
- They ARE apathetic. Rebels don’t really care about much of anything. Social status doesn’t matter to them, nor do the opinions of their peers, which is what earns them the status of being a “rebel”. They care about mostly things involving them and their happiness - they care about their opinions, and what makes them feel good. After that? Not much else.
- They ARE independent. Because rebels don’t really care, they don’t feel the need to depend on anyone. They like doing their own thing and following their own set of rules. However, they don’t always necessarily contradict those of their elders.
- They ARE opinionated. My friend Faith described this in a really good way, tying it with the whole “I don’t care” thing rebels have going on. A helpful way to think about it is that rebels don’t care what you have to say, but care what they have to say.
So what personality traits could one use to refer to when writing bios, and playing these types of characters?
Possible character traits rebels have that can be used to reference to writing bios and playing rebels include the following:
- Independent. Remember that rebels like to do their own thing and follow their own rules, so they could be self-sufficient and depend on their own resources and suffer alone instead of trying to ask for any help that they may need.
- Passionate. While rebels may be apathetic and not care about almost anything, they might be passionate about causes that are near to them. Examples include political causes (The Clash and their fight against discrimination of African Americans), hobbies (playing the guitar, writing, or drawing are possibilities), or anything else you can think of!
- Confident. Rebels don’t care about a lot besides themselves a lot of the time, and added on to the fact that they also don’t care about what others think about them, this can lead them to not having many insecurities and be assured in themselves.
- Clever. Rebels also tend to pretty clever when it comes to real life. It’s rare for them to get in trouble because they clean up their tracks so well, and when they do, they can usually find a pretty easy way to get out of punishment.
- Brave. Since rebels don’t care, they’re impulsive a lot of the time, and they tend to be confident, this can cause them to be brave. They won’t shy away from tasks that are considered dangerous and most people refuse to do. They will do it, and they’ll do it in a way that’s sure to leave you awed.
- Selfish. Rebels, a lot of the time, don’t really care about anything except what makes THEM happy, what matters to THEM. Noticing a pattern here? They often think of themselves first and others second, and it impairs their judgement and they often forget that while they may be happy, the decisions they make can impact others in a profound way.
- Stubborn. Notice that I mentioned one of the positive traits as being independent. Making them stubborn is also a good way to flesh out this positive trait. When writing a rebel’s bio, you could tie these two together as that the rebels strives to be independent by trying to be self-sufficient, but often finds themselves needing help, but is too stubborn to admit that they need assistance and suffers alone because they refused to ask for help.
- Impulsive. Rebels don’t care. They care about what makes them happy, and often, they don’t think of the consequences or outcomes if they decide to do what makes them happy, even if it can have grievous results.
- Reckless. Rebels like to only do things that make them happy. Sometimes what makes them happy includes harmful, dangerous, risky, addictive things, like drinking, partying, or drugs. Since they don’t care, they often act on their impulses without a second of thought on whether or not it’s worth it.
- Lazy. I know I keep talking about this, but it’s important. Rebels don’t care about anything that doesn’t make them happy. Sometimes work doesn’t make them happy, and they’ll just flat out refuse to do what they’re required to and don’t enjoy, and avoid it like the plague.
What are some possible backgrounds that could explain why these characters are part of the rebel lifestyle currently?
Some possible background stories for rebel characters include:
- They came from a strict, religious household and felt suffocated, so they rebelled. This is one of the most common background stories I see for rebel characters - the thing is, a lot of their past sections on bios are basically just “They came from a strict family. They felt trapped. They rebelled. The end.” Try to expand on their past a lot more - why did their parents decide to raise them in such a strict way? Were their parents raised like this, or was there an accident that caused it? What kind of guidelines did the character’s family set? This helps your character feel more real, and helps you or potential roleplays connect more with the character.
- Their parents spoiled them and let them do whatever they want, and the character decided to take full advantage of their parents. Now this is definitely a past I’d like to see used more often. Make sure to expand on this, and not just say that their parents spoiled them and they took advantage. Include a reason why their parents spoil them so much - I’ve seen one where a character was a miracle baby when her mother was thought to be infertile as a reason for her being rebellious and it was awesome. Be creative with it!
- They were bored with their life and wanted to add some zest to it, so they stopped caring what others thought of them and did whatever they wanted to. Now I know this isn’t as interesting as the others, but it’s so underused and I don’t really know, has a certain charm to it, I suppose.And there’s just something so awing about a regular Joe Schmoe turned rebel! In fact, this is one of the big reasons punks were so big - teenagers grew bored of their modest, old lives and wanted to stir things up.
- Their parents were never around or never paid attention to them, and they at first did it for their attention, but just eventually stopped giving a damn and became a real rebel. I really like this as a background story - it’s cool how they went from doing this for attention, to doing it for the reason “real” rebels did, because they simply didn’t care anymore. I think this could provide a ton of character development. Please, make sure to expand on this! Why aren’t their parents ever around? Why don’t they pay attention to the character? What was the last straw that caused them to try to be a rebel? Stuff like that.
What are some suggested FCs for rebel characters who have a rebellious look to them?
Now, I know that a lot of people believe that any FC can play any type of personality, and I completely agree with it! However, some prefer using certain FCs for certain types of personalities because they have that “look”. Here are some FCs I believe have that rebel-type “look”, for people who like using FCs for certain personalities according to their appearance:
- Sky Ferreira (20; could play 18 to 21). GIF HUNT HERE.
- Anna Christine Speckhart (21; could play 18 to 23). GIF HUNT HERE.
- Nina Dobrev (24; could play 18 to 25). GIF HUNT HERE.
- Daisy Lowe (24; could play 17 to 24). GIF HUNT HERE.
- Lily Collins (24; could play 17 to 24). GIF HUNT HERE.
- Ashley Benson (23; could play 17 to 23). GIF HUNT HERE.
- Demi Lovato (20; could play 17 to 23). GIF HUNT HERE.
- Sasha Pieterse (17; could play 15 to 19). GIF HUNT HERE.
- Candice Accola (25; could play 18 to 26). GIF HUNT HERE.
- Kaya Scodelario (21; could play 16 to 21). GIF HUNT HERE.
- Willa Holland (23; could play 18 to 25). GIF HUNT HERE.
- Taylor Momsen (19; could play 18 to 20). GIF HUNT HERE.
- Vanessa Hudgens (24; could play 18 to 24). GIF HUNT HERE.
- Emily Browning (24; could play 16 to 20). GIF HUNT HERE.
- Jessica Lowndes (24; could play 19 to 26). GIF HUNT HERE.
- Megan Fox (26; could play 21 to 26). GIF HUNT HERE.
- Freya Mavor (19; could play 16 to 19). GIF HUNT HERE.
- Evan Peters (26; could play 17 to 21) GIF HUNT HERE.
- Nicholas Hoult (18; could play 18 to 23) GIF HUNT HERE.
- Max Irons (27; could play 19 to 25) GIF HUNT HERE.
- Andrew Garfield (29; could play 18 to 27) GIF HUNT HERE.
- Zayn Malik (20; could play 18 to 21) GIF HUNT HERE.
- Hunter Parrish (25; could play 18 to 23) GIF HUNT HERE.
- Ian Somerhalder (34; could play 25 - 28) GIF HUNT HERE.
- Jamie Campbell Bower (24; could play 20 to 25) GIF HUNT HERE.
- Robert Sheehan (25; could play 19 to 25) GIF HUNT HERE.
- Dylan O’Brien (21; could play 17 to 20) GIF HUNT HERE.
- Keegan Allen (23; could play 18 to 23) GIF HUNT HERE.
- Michael Trevino (28; could play 21 to 27) GIF HUNT HERE.
- Jack O’Connell (22; could play 18 to 22) GIF HUNT HERE.
- Nick Jonas (20; could play 17 to 19) GIF HUNT HERE.
- Luke Pasqualino (23; could play 18 to 22) GIF HUNT HERE.
- Ezra Miller (20; could play 17 to 23) GIF HUNT HERE.
- Ash Stymest (21; could play 18 to 23) GIF HUNT HERE.
Playlist for rebel characters:
i. teenagers; my chemical romance / ii. i don’t care; fall out boy / iii. i just wanna live; good charlotte / iv. fat lip; sum 41 / v. we’ve got a big mess on our hands; the academy is / vi. a decade under the influence; taking back sunday / vii. all signs point to lauderdale; a day to remember / vii. know your rights; the clash / viii. freaks and geeks; joan jett / ix. black sheep; gin wigmore / x. early retirement; handguns