Terry the Tomboy

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Terry the Tomboy TV Poster Image
Wacky Internet star sends solid messages about self-image.

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Educational Value

No learning quotient exists here, but there is a positive message about self-esteem and standing up to peer pressure. 

Positive Messages

The movie has fun with extreme stereotypes in Terry, who's not only a self-proclaimed tomboy but also talks with a forced Southern drawl. That said, its standout message reminds viewers to be comfortable with who they are and to fight the urge to change just to impress other people because those who really matter will like you for who you are. Britannica flirts shamelessly with Brett, telling lies to win his sympathy and fast-talking him into a romantic date. Mild bathroom humor refers to peeing. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Terry is eccentric and a little wild, but she's true to herself in the face of pressure to conform. She values meaningful relationships over fleeting physical attraction. On the other hand, Britannica places high value on a person's outward appearance and reputation and pokes fun at those who don't meet her standards. 

Violence & Scariness

The fact that Terry plays rough with people is part of her tomboy persona, and it's meant to be funny. In one case, she knocks a girl to the ground for talking to the boy she's interested in; in another, she hurls rocks at two people with a slingshot. She gets shocked repeatedly in one scene. 

Sexy Stuff

The movie tells the tale of a tomboy's first experience with crushing on a boy, referring to physical reactions such as sweaty palms, a racing heart, and a fluttery stomach. You'll see two kisses, but that's the extent of any physical contact. 


No cursing, but the characters use phrases such as "shut up," "shut your mouth," and "he sucks" as well as "butt" and "stupid" occasionally. 


The movie is an extension of a character made popular in another series, AwesomenessTV

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

In one scene, Terry jokingly mentions doing an Internet search about how to poison someone when she's trying to slip Brett a love potion. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Terry the Tomboy is a movie extension of a recurring character on AwesomenessTV, so young fans of her skits will want to tune in for this extended version. Parents will appreciate that the story incorporates prominent positive messages about being true to yourself, shrugging off peer pressure, and valuing true friendship. There's some flirting between teens, one of whom lies and tricks her way into a cute guy's affections, but this proves to be her downfall in the end. Teens tell each other to "shut up" and "shut your mouth" and that someone or something "sucks." A few instances of injuries (Terry hurls rocks at people with her slingshot, and she gets shocked repeatedly) are short-lived and meant to be funny. Ultimately, though, it's the reminders to like who you are even if others don't that kids will remember from this funny movie. 

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What's the story?

School's out, summer's here, and Terry the Tomboy (Lia Marie Johnson) has a long to-do list to fill those glorious empty hours. Top on that list is winning the county fair's pie-eating contest, which calls for countless hours of training with her faithful pal Duncanty (Noland Ammon). But when a handsome stranger named Brett (Charlie DePew) moves in across the street, Terry finds herself inexplicably distracted from both the contest and Duncanty's attention, much to her smitten friend's dismay. And when her ex-BFF Britannica (Audrey Whitby) sets out to turn Brett's eye, Terry decides to ditch her tomboy image to compete with her popular rival.

Is it any good?

It's delicate -- and sometimes futile -- work to transform a favorite Internet character designed for three-minute sketches into a viable movie (think Fred many times over). But some unexpected magic happens at the hands of Internet sensation Johnson's TERRY THE TOMBOY, and the result is laugh-out-loud entertainment that boasts some really likable themes about self-image, relationships, and standing up to conformity. This is a girl who salivates over grilled meat, favors flannel because it's comfortable, and isn't afraid to be seen with dried pie on her face. She's unique, she knows it, and, more importantly, she loves it.

Fans of AwesomenessTV will like that this movie incorporates markers from Terry's skits, including unpredictable cut-ins and a series of the self-proclaimed tomboy's wisdom-imparting guides to various aspects of life. Impressively, though, the movie doesn't rely solely on this familiarity to entertain. The story is simple enough -- girl meets boy, girl changes image to turn boy's eye, girl decides to embrace her individuality instead -- but the trick is in how convincingly Johnson sells the performance. Ultimately that's what will get kids to sit up and take note of the story's great messages about self-esteem. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about peer pressure. Kids: Do you feel pressure to look and act a certain way because of what your friends do? How important is it to you to fit in? To what lengths would you go to do so? 

  • To what extent do celebrities influence how we want to look? Do your kids like to wear the same kinds of clothes or hairstyles as their favorite stars? Do they have any celebrity role models? What is it about them that your kids admire?

  • Were your kids familiar with Terry the Tomboy before this movie? Why do you think her character was chosen for a longer story? Did it work well in this format? Is she a positive role model for young girls? 

TV details

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