"Teenage Dream" (CD single)

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
"Teenage Dream" (CD single) Music Poster Image
Popular with kids
Pop single isn't graphic but references drinking and sex.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 53 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Though this song is about sex, the message is actually a positive one overall: "You think I'm pretty without any makeup on / You think I'm funny when I tell the punchline wrong / I know you get me so I let my walls come down, down." It's just not meant for young kids.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Talks about some very grownup behaviors -- going "all the way," getting a motel room with the guy in question, and drinking at a beach party.


Nothing too graphic, although some unmistakable sexual references, such as "let's go all the way," "got a motel," and "let you put your hands on me in my skin-tight jeans." 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Talks about getting "drunk on the beach."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while this single isn't the most risque song ever done by Katy Perry, it does contain some references to sex and drinking (going "all the way," getting a motel room with the guy in question, and drinking at a beach party). Be aware that the music video is very sexy.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bykipwalker44 January 25, 2015
Parent of a 11 and 11-year-old Written byApplemommieAZ March 18, 2012

ok I like the song so what

a little bit of this here and thare but it is still one good song you mkem me feal like I am liveing the teen age dreeam the way you trun me on I cant sleep so... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old August 30, 2020

This is my (teenage) dream song!

This was my favorite song ever for a long time. It shows romantic love as an equal and accepting partnership, while being just edgy enough to keep kids interest... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bylje984 January 26, 2018

This song is completely acceptable for 9 to 10 years old.

I truly don’t understand why everyone is making such a fuss about this song. The innuendos are tiny and NOTHING compared to other singers that young kids idoliz... Continue reading

What's the story?

"TEENAGE DREAM" is the latest single off of Katy Perry's full-length album by the same name. The song's title refers to its general theme: a woman falls so head over heels for a man that she feels like she's living in the same fog many teens experience when they develop big crushes. The difference between teen crushes and Perry's experience, however, is that the latter includes some very grownup behaviors -- going "all the way," getting a motel room with the guy in question, and drinking at a beach party. Though there's no bad language or extremely graphic descriptions, the adult references make it too mature for younger audiences.

Is it any good?

Though it's not earth-shattering, "Teenage Dream" has a solid power-pop beat that puts it in a league above Perry's typically lighthearted fare. Respectable vocals add even more appeal, resulting in a memorable tune that will likely make its way onto many a summer 2010 playlist.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what can happen when you engage in adult behaviors before you're an adult. Can you think of some potential repercussions that could result from having sex at a very young age?

  • What are the consequences of underage drinking?

Music details

  • Artist: Katy Perry
  • Release date: July 29, 2010
  • Label: Capitol
  • Genre: Pop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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