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How Old Do YA Characters Look?

We asked the #HowOldRobot to guess the ages of actors from our fave shows and movies! 

How Old Do YA Characters Look?

Last week, the internet received its latest favourite toy in the form of the How Old Do I Look robot (#HowOldRobot), which uses photos to guess, well, how old do you look (sometimes to disastrous results). Seeing as how a common gripe with YA actors is that NO WAY do they look like IRL teenagers, we decided to put our fave shows and movies to the test! 

Note: Actual ages have been calculated as the difference between the year that the TV season began or the movie was released, and the actors' birth years. Because any more precision than that would be a lot more work and crazy-making.

Recent TV

The 100, Season 1 (2014, The CW)

Marie Avgeropoulos (28) as Octavia Blake - F 25
Devon Bostick (23) as Jasper Jordan - M 33
Thomas McDonell (28) as Finn Collins - M 24
Eliza Taylor (25) as Clarke Griffin - F 31
Christopher Larkin (27) as Monty Green - M 19

Dance Academy, Series 2 (2012)

Dena Kaplan (23) as Abigail Armstrong - F 23
Tim Pocock (27) as Ethan Karamakov - M 28
Thomas Lacey (19) as Ben Tickle - M 20
Xenia Goodwin (18) as Tara Webster - ?
Jordan Rodrigues (20) as Christian Reed - M 24
Isabel Durant (21) as Grace Whitney - F 30
Alicia Banit (22) as Kat Karamakov - ?
Tom Green (21) as Sammy Lieberman - M 24

Pretty Little Liars, Season 1 (2010, ABC Family)

Troian Bellisario (25) as Spencer Hastings - F 23
Lucy Hale (21) as Aria Montgomery - F 27
Shay Mitchell (23) as Emily Fields - F 24
Ashley Benson (21) as Hanna Marin - F 26

Reign, Season 1 (2013, The CW)

Toby Regbo (22) as Francis - M 20
Adelaide Kane (23) as Mary - F 23
Torrance Coombs (30) as Bash - M 29

Teen Wolf, Season 3 (2013, MTV)

Daniel Sharman (27) as Isaac Lahey - M 28
Crystal Reed (28) as Allison Argent - F 13
Tyler Hoechlin (26) as Derek Hale - M 40
Tyler Posey (22) as Scott McCall - M 31
Arden Cho (28) as Kira Yukimura - F 28
Dylan O'Brien (22) as Stiles Stilinski - F 37
Holland Roden (27) as Lydia Martin - ?

The Vampire Diaries, Season 3 (2011, The CW)

Candice Accola (24) as Caroline Forbes - F 24
Zach Roerig (26) as Matt Donovan - M 27
Claire Holt (23) as Rebekah Mikaelson - F 1?
Daniel Gillies (35) as Elijah Mikaelson - M 24
Paul Wesley (29) as Stefan Salvatore - ? 
Ian Somerhalder (33) as Damon Salvatore - ? 
Casper Zafer (37) as Finn Mikaelson - ?
Nina Dobrev (22) as Elena Gilbert - ?
Susan Walters (48) as Carol Lockwood - ?
Joseph Morgan (30) as Klaus Mikaelson - M 26
Nathaniel Buzolic (28) as Kol Mikaelson - M 23

Past TV

Beverly Hills, 90210, Season 1 (1990, Fox)

Ian Ziering (26) as Steve Sanders - M 38
Gabrielle Carteris (29) as Andrea Zuckerman - ?
Jason Priestly (21) as Brandon Walsh - M 27
Jennie Garth (18) as Kelly Taylor - F 27
Luke Perry (24) as Dylan McKay - M 36
Shannen Doherty (19) as Brenda Walsh - ? 
Brian Austin Green (17) as David Silver - M 27
Tori Spelling (17) as Donna Martin - F 27

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 1 (1997, The WB)

Alyson Hannigan (23) as Willow Rosenberg - F 34
Sarah Michelle Gellar (20) as Buffy Summers - F 23
Charisma Carpenter (27) as Cordelia Chase - F 35
Nicholas Brendon (26) as Xander Harris - M 31

Dawson's Creek, Season 1 (1998, The WB)

Michelle Williams (18) as Jen Lindley - F 13
James Van Der Beek (21) as Dawson Leery - M 29
Katie Holmes (20) as Joey Potter - F 7
Joshua Jackson (20) as Pacey Witter - M 27

Degrassi: The Next Generation, Season 1 (2001)

Lauren Collins (15) as Paige Michalchuk - F 20
Shane Kippel (15) as Spinner Mason - M 29
Christina Schmidt (14) as Terri McGreggor - F 18
Melissa McIntyre (14) as Ashley Kerwin - F 31
Aubrey Graham (14) as Jimmy Brooks - M 27

Felicity, Season 1 (1998, The WB)

Scott Foley (26) as Noel Crane - M 31
Scott Speedman (23) as Ben Covington - M 24
Keri Russell (22) as Felicity Porter - F 29
Tangi Miller (28) as Elena Tyler - F 26
Amy Jo Johnson (28) as Julie Emrick - F 26

Freaks and Geeks, Season 1 (1999, NBC)

Seth Rogen (17) as Ken Miller - M 27
James Franco (21) as Daniel Desario - M 27
Samm Levine (17) as Neal Schweiber - ? 
Jason Segel (19) as Nick Andopolis - M 40
Busy Philipps (20) as Kim Kelly - F 25
Linda Cardellini (24) as Lindsay Weir - ?
John Francis Daley (14) as Sam Weir - F 8
Martin Starr (17) as Bill Haverchuck - M 27

Friday Night Lights, Season 1 (2006, NBC)

Jesse Plemons (18) as Landry Clarke - ?
Gaius Charles (23) as Smash Williams - ?
Taylor Kitsch (25) as Tim Riggins - M 33
Minka Kelly (26) as Lyla Garrity - F 32
Scott Porter (27) as Jason Street - M 33
Zac Gilford (24) as Matt Saracen - M 37
Adrianne Palicki (23) as Tyra Collette - F 42
Aimee Teegarden (17) as Julie Taylor - F 20

Gilmore Girls, Season 1 (2000, The WB)

Keiko Agena (27) as Lane Kim - F 38
Alexis Bledel (19) as Rory Gilmore - F 28
Liza Weil (23) as Paris Gellar - F 23
Jared Padelecki (18) as Dean Forrester - M 22

Gossip Girl, Season 1 (2007, The CW)

Leighton Meester (21) as Blair Waldorf - F 9
Penn Badgley (21) as Dan Humphrey - M 22
Ed Westwick (20) as Chuck Bass - M 24
Taylor Momsen (14) as Jenny Humphrey - F 22
Chace Crawford (22) as Nate Archibald - F 27
Blake Lively (20) as Serena van der Woodsen - F 20

My So-Called Life, Season 1 (1994, ABC)

Jared Leto (23) as Jordan Catalano - ?
A.J. Langer (20) as Rayanne Graff - F 28
Wilson Cruz (21) as Rickie Vasquez - F 20
Devon Odessa (20) as Sharon Cherski - F 27
Devon Gummersall (16) as Brian Krakow - F 22
Lisa Wilhoit (13) as Danielle Chase - F 19
Claire Danes (15) as Angela Chase - F 21

The O.C., Season 1 (2003, Fox)

Ben McKenzie (25) as Ryan Atwood - M 31
Mischa Barton (17) as Marissa Cooper - F 21
Adam Brody (24) as Seth Cohen - M 34
Rachel Bilson (22) as Summer Roberts - F 29

One Tree Hill, Season 1 (2003, The WB)

Chad Michael Murray (22) as Lucas Scott - M 35
Hilarie Burton (21) as Peyton Sawyer - F 28
Bethany Joy Lenz (22) as Haley James - F 31
Sophia Bush (21) as Brooke Davis - F 28
James Lafferty (18) as Nathan Scott - M 33

Roswell, Season 1 (1999, The WB)

Majandra Delfino (18) as Maria DeLuca - F 26
Shiri Appleby (21) as Liz Parker - F 27
Brendan Fehr (22) as Michael Guerin - M 30
Jason Behr (26) as Max Evans - M 26
Katherine Heigl (21) as Isabel Evans - F 27

Skins, Series 2 (2008)

Mike Bailey (20) as Sid Jenkins - M 61
Joseph Dempsie (21) as Chris Miles - M 28
Hannah Murray (19) as Cassie Ainsworth - ?
Larissa Wilson (19) as Jal Fazer - ?
Dev Patel (18) as Anwar Kharral - M 32
Mitch Hewer (19) as Maxxie Oliver - M 43
Nicholas Hoult (19) as Tony Stonem - F 17
April Pearson (19) as Michelle Richardson - F 34

Veronica Mars, Season 1 (2004, UPN)

Jason Dohring (22) as Logan Echolls - M 30
Percy Daggs III (22) as Wallace Fennel - M 28
Kristen Bell (24) as Veronica Mars - F 26
Enrico Colantoni (41) as Keith Mars - M 46
Teddy Dunn (24) as Duncan Kane - M 31
Francis Capra (21) as Weevil Navarro - M 37

Younger, Season 1 (2015, TV Land)

Nico Tortorella (27) as Josh - M 33
Hilary Duff (28) as Kelsey - F 31
Miriam Shor (44) as Diana - F 36
Sutton Foster (40) as Liza - F 31
Debi Mazar (51) as Maggie - F 16

Recent Movies

The DUFF (2015)

Bianca A. Santos (25) as Casey Cordero - F 27
Skyler Samuels (21) as Jess Harris - F 31
Robbie Amell (27) as Wes Rush - M 38
Mae Whitman (27) as Bianca Piper - F 29
Bella Thorne (18) as Madison Morgan - F 28

Divergent (2014)

Mekhi Phifer (40) as Max - M 38
Zoë Kravitz (26) as Christina - F 26
Ben Lloyd-Hughes (26) as Will - ?
Shailene Woodley (23) as Tris - F 31
Theo James (30) as Four - M 32
Amy Newbold (?) as Molly - ?
Jai Courtney (28) as Eric - M 48
Christian Madsen (24) as Al - ?
Miles Teller (27) as Peter - ?
Maggie Q (35) as Tori - F 18

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

Matthew Lewis (22) as Neville Longbottom - M 27
Emma Watson (21) as Hermione Granger - F 26
Rupert Grint (23) as Ron Weasley - M 26
Daniel Radcliffe (22) as Harry Potter - M 16

The Hunger Games (2012)

Liam Hemsworth (22) as Gale Hawthorne - M 24
Jennifer Lawrence (22) as Katniss Everdeen - F 24
Josh Hutcherson (20) as Peeta Mellark - M 31

The Maze Runner (2014)

Ki Hong Lee (28) as Minho - M 23
Dexter Darden (23) as Frypan - M 44
Kaya Scodelario (22) as Teresa - F 21
Dylan O'Brien (23) as Thomas - M 27
Will Poulter (21) as Gally - M 19
Thomas Brodie-Sangster (24) as Newt - M 34

Twilight: New Moon (2009)

Robert Pattinson (23) as Edward Cullen - M 31
Kristen Stewart (19) as Bella Swan - F 24
Taylor Lautner (17) as Jacob Black - M 23

Past Movies

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Gabrielle Union (27) as Chastity Church - F 27
Andrew Keegan (20) as Joey Donner - M 27
Julia Stiles as (18) Kat Stratford - F 23
Heath Ledger (20) as Patrick Verona - M 32
Larisa Oleynik (18) as Bianca Stratford - F 22
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (18) as Cameron - M 34

The Breakfast Club (1985)

Judd Nelson (26) as John Bender - F 31
Ally Sheedy (23) as Allison Reynolds - F 22
Anthony Michael Hall (17) as Brian Johnson - M 22
Emilio Estevez (23) as Andrew Clark - M 31
Molly Ringwald (17) as Claire Standish - F 9

Clueless (1995)

Jeremy Sisto (21) as Elton - M 26
Justin Walker (?) as Christian - M 20
Elisa Donovan (24) as Amber - F 34
Stacey Dash (28) as Dionne - F 36
Alicia Silverstone (19) as Cher - F 16
Brittany Murphy (18) as Tai - F 36
Donald Faison (21) as Murray - ? 
Breckin Meyer (21) as Travis - ? 
Paul Rudd (26) as Josh - ? 

Mean Girls (2004)

Lacey Chabert (22) as Gretchen Wieners - F 30
Lindsay Lohan (18) as Cady Heron - F 23
Rachel McAdams (26) as Regina George - F 27
Amanda Seyfried (19) as Karen Smith - F 32

The Outsiders (1983)

Patrick Swayze (31) as Darry Curtis - M 37
Matt Dillon (19) as Dallas Winston - M 31
Rob Lowe (19) as Sodapop Curtis - M 31
Emilio Estevez (21) as Keith Matthews - M 29
Ralph Macchio (22) as Johnny Cade - M 25
C. Thomas Howell (17) as Ponyboy Curtis - ?
Tom Cruise (21) as Steve Randle - M 33

So How Old Does YA Look?

What, did you think we call these Highly Scientific Analyses for nothing? Well, that isn't wrong most of the time, but we're getting our actual highly scientific analysis on today!

Here's what I found after running #HowOldRobot on the 192 characters you see above, which included two repeated actors, plus a few grownup/non-YA characters.

Who looks their age?

#HowOldRobot managed to guess the exact age of these actors at the time their photos were taken: 

Candice Accola (24), The Vampire Diaries
Jason Behr (26), Roswell
Arden Cho (28), Teen Wolf
Adelaide Kane (23), Reign
Dena Kaplan (23), Dance Academy
Zoë Kravitz (26), Divergent
Blake Lively (20), Gossip Girl
Gabrielle Union (27), 10 Things I Hate About You
Liza Weil (23), Gilmore Girls

Since the actors' year-end ages were used and the photos may have been taken earlier than when the season aired or the movie was released, #HowOldRobot can take credit for getting within 1 year of the actual ages, too. 

Penn Badgley (21), Gossip Girl
Torrance Coombs (30), Reign
Wilson Cruz (21), My So-Called Life
Thomas Lacey (19), Dance Academy
Rachel McAdams (26), Mean Girls
Shay Mitchell (23), Pretty Little Liars
Tim Pocock (27), Dance Academy
Zach Roerig (26), The Vampire Diaries
Kaya Scodelario (22), The Maze Runner
Daniel Sharman (27), Teen Wolf
Ally Sheedy (23), The Breakfast Club
Scott Speedman (23), Felicity

So that means #HowOldRobot was accurate on the ages of 21 actors, or 11% of the total. It was also slightly more accurate with the ladies (12 total, and 8 of the 9 exact guesses).

And although it's off as an age, maybe #HowOldRobot's 33 for Tim Riggins was meant to be his jersey number. I know it's not, but I'm going to pretend that it is.

Who might be the most offended?

On the flip side, #HowOldRobot was wayyyyyyy off for the following actors, the majority of whom are dudes (7 of 10 that were guessed to be 16 or more years older): 

Mike Bailey (+41), Skins
Mitch Hewer (+24), Skins
Dexter Darden (+21), The Maze Runner
Jason Segel (+21), Freaks and Geeks
Jai Courtney (+20), Divergent
Adrianne Palicki (+19), Friday Night Lights
Brittany Murphy (RIP, +18), Clueless
Melissa McIntyre (+17), Degrassi: The Next Generation
Francis Capra (+16), Veronica Mars
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (+16), 10 Things I Hate About You

These poor actors were also guessed to be at least twice their actual age:

Mike Bailey (2.05x)
Mitch Hewer (2.26x)
Melissa McIntyre (2.21x)
Jason Segel (2.11x)
Brittany Murphy (2x)

To add insult to injury, all but Mike Bailey (who was 20) were actual teenagers

At least #HowOldRobot recognized them as people, unlike 26 of the faces who didn't even register with it (and will be snubbed yet again because I'm not listing them all). #HowOldRobot appears to have difficulty with larger number of people, like in the Vampire Diaries photo. But cropping it into smaller photos seems to resolve the issue. (Well, unless you're the perptually ignored Casper Zafer, who didn't get a guess in either photo. Probably because no one likes you, Finn!)

Candice Accola (24) - F 20
Zach Roerig (26) - M 27
Claire Holt (23) - F 15
Paul Wesley (29) - M 33
Ian Somerhalder (33) - M 36
Casper Zafer (37) - ?
Nina Dobrev (22) - F 13

However, #HowOldRobot changed up its guess for Candice Accola (originally guessed to be 24) for the cropped photo with no other alterations. its guess on Zach Roerig, however, didn't change (originally guessed to be 27).

Who might be the most confused?

When you get to a certain age, it can be a bit flattering when you're mistaken as being younger than you are. But this is a little ridic, #HowOldRobot:

Katie Holmes (20), Dawson's Creek - F 7
John Francis Daley (14), Freaks and Geeks - F 8
Molly Ringwald (17), The Breakfast Club - F 9
Leighton Meester (21), Gossip Girl - F 9
Michelle Williams (18), Dawson's Creek - F 13
Crystal Reed (28), Teen Wolf - F 13
Debi Mazar (51), Younger - F 16

These ladies were also guessed to be less than half their actual ages: 

Debi Mazar (0.31x)
Katie Holmes (0.35x)
Leighton Meester (0.43x)
Crystal Reed (0.46x)

But #HowOldRobot can dramatically change its tune with a different photo, like this one from Season 1 of Dawson's Creek.

Michelle Williams (18) - F 13 vs. F 22
James Van Der Beek (21) - M 29 vs. M 34 
Katie Holmes (20) - F 7 vs. F 20
Joshua Jackson (20) - M 27 vs. M 28

Sometimes, it doesn't even need to be an entirely new image to yield different guesses (also as shown above, with The Vampire Diaries). Here are two different versions of the same image, from Season 1 of The 100.

Bob Morley (30) - M 26 vs. M 25
Richard Harmon (23) - M 24 vs. M 27
Marie Avgeropoulos (28) - F 27 vs. F 26

We've been focusing on age thus far, but #HowOldRobot has its share of flubs for gender, too. It thought the following gentlemen were ladies:  

Chace Crawford (22), Gossip Girl - F 27
Wilson Cruz (21), My So-Called Life - F 20
John Francis Daley (14), Freaks and Geeks - F 8
Devon Gummersall (16), My So-Called Life - F 22
Nicholas Hoult (19), Skins - F 17
Judd Nelson (26), The Breakfast Club - F 31
Dylan O'Brien (22), Teen Wolf - F 37

Fittingly, being mistaken for an 8-year-old girl seems like the exact kind of angst Sam Weir would have.

With two of his characters analyzed by #HowOldRobot, Emilio Estevez was consistently guessed to be 8 years older than he actually was (21 in The Outsiders, guessed as 29; 23 in The Breakfast Club, guessed as 31). The guesses for Dylan O'Brien, on the other hand, went from a 37-year-old female in Teen Wolf (22) to a 27-year-old male in The Maze Runner. At least it's getting more accurate?

Who passes as a teen?

#HowOldRobot only thinks these 11 actors look like teenagers (5.7% of total):

Crystal Reed (28), Teen Wolf - F 13
Michelle Williams (18), Dawson's Creek - F 13
Debi Mazar (51), Younger - F 16
Daniel Radcliffe (22), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - M 16
Alicia Silverstone (19), Clueless - F 16
Nicholas Hoult (19), Skins - F 17
Christina Schmidt (14), Degrassi: The Next Generation - F 18
Maggie Q (35), Divergent - F 18
Lisa Wilhoit (13), My So-Called Life - F 18
Will Poulter (21), The Maze Runner - M 19
Christopher Larkin (27), The 100 - M 19

Out of the 49 actual teenagers that #HowOldRobot analyzed, it only recognized 5 (or 10%) as being teens.

So What Do We Think About #HowOldRobot?

Based on these photos, #HowOldRobot was the most accurate for women in their 20s. It was more likely to mistaken younger guys as girls, and to misjudge the ages of men (off by 7.9 years, versus 6.7 for women). 

For these shows and movies specifically, #HowOldRobot guessed within an average of 1 year of the ages of the Reign actors. It bombed HAAAAARD for Skins, being off by an average of 17.2 years. Its guesses were within 4.5 years for actors on The CW, and 7.1 years for actors in movies. #HowOldRobot was most accurate for photos from the 2010s (within 6.5 years), in comparison to the 1980s (7.3 years), 1990s (7.3 years), and 2000s (8.3 years). 

While #HowOldRobot is a fun way to pass time (as I have for most of this past weekend), it's obviously not infallible. But it sure as hell is entertaining.

So have you tried out #HowOldRobot yourself? Has it been crazily accurate or just plain crazy? Share your scientific findings in the comments below!

Mandy Wan's photo About the Author: Residing in Edmonton, AB, Mandy unabashedly loves YA lit, frozen desserts, and terrible puns.