When it comes to Hollywood casting, it seems like anything goes -- especially when high school is involved. For decades, actors in their 20s (and even their 30s) have been tapped to play teens. And we all say, "Sure, why not?!"
Below, take a look at 10 actors who were way too old for their on-screen teenage roles, from Thomas Doherty in the new "Gossip Girl" to Stacey Dash in "Clueless."
Stockard Channing, 33, "Grease" (1978)
Stockard Channing was 33 when she played Rizzo in "Grease," making her the oldest actor portraying a main Rydell High student on set.
Alan Ruck, 29, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (1986)
While 23-year-old Matthew Broderick was at least a little closer to his character's age, Alan Ruck -- who played Ferris' BFF, Cameron -- celebrated his 30th birthday shortly after the film's release.
Gabrielle Carteris, 29, "Beverly Hills, 90210" (1990-2000)
During the first season of "Beverly Hills, 90210," Gabrielle Carteris was 29 — a whopping 13 years older than her character, Andrea. The CW's reboot of the teen series later continued that trend, with Matt Lanter playing a high schooler at age 25.
Stacey Dash, 28, "Clueless" (1995)
Alicia Silverstone was still a teenager while filming "Clueless," but her co-star Stacey Dash (aka Dionne) was much older, at 28. And she wasn't done there -- Dash continued to play a high schooler in the ABC sitcom version of "Clueless," which ended in 1999, when she was 32.
Ben McKenzie, 25, "The O.C." (2003-2007)
Heartthrob Ben McKenzie was 25 when he took on the role of Ryan Atwood on "The O.C." While Ryan was falling for Marissa Cooper at The Harbor School, McKenzie was years away from any real-life high school romance.
Jason Earles, 29, "Hannah Montana" (2006-2015)
The older brother of the secret pop star was 16 -- and was played by 29-year-old Jason Earles. Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus, who played Miley/Hannah, was 15 years younger than Earles when she started the show at a ripe 13 years old.
Harry Shum Jr., 27, "Glee" (2009-2015)
Harry Shum Jr. was 27 when "Glee" premiered in 2009 — meaning he was 33 when the show ended in 2015. It's a major age gap, but at least we can rest easy knowing his on-screen love interest Jenna Ushkowitz was only four years younger than him, beginning the show at age 23.
Andrew Garfield, 27, "The Amazing Spider-Man" (2012)
Andrew Garfield was 27 while filming his big-screen take on Peter Parker, making him a full decade older than the 17-year-old superhero. That seems to be a trend in the Spiderverse -- Tobey Maguire was 26 when he played Parker.
Darren Barnet, 29, "Never Have I Ever" (2020-2021)
Darren Barnet is surrounded by age-appropriate actors on the Netflix show, which makes this age difference all the more noticeable. Barnet, who turned 30 just before Season 2 premiered, is 11 years older than his love interest and co-star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan. And if anyone was wondering, Ramakrishnan was 18 when the series premiered.
Thomas Doherty, 26, "Gossip Girl" (2021)
Following in the tradition of the original "Gossip Girl," Thomas Doherty -- who more or less plays the reboot's version of Chuck -- is a 26-year-old playing a high school Manhattanite. The kicker: Doherty is older than 25-year-old Tavi Gevinson, who plays his teacher... and that's a secret I *will* tell. XOXO.