From Left to Right:
First Row : Scott Lewis , Ian Smith , Rajah Heather Brooke , 2023 Joketsuzoku Teachers Strike
Second Row : Lee Na-yeon , Olof Palme , Elvis Presley , Ayumu Kasuga (real name : Choi Nam Ra)
Third Row : P.W. Botha , Tupac Shakur , Rudi Carrell , San Ysidro Ten (a Sukeban Gang)
Fourth Row : 2024 Ford Afrikaner , 2029 DominionVision Song Contest , Johannes Tong
No, not the "The '20s" you were thinking of, for that matter.
This trope covers depictions of the 2020s
the realm of Ian Smith , Xian Pu , Elvis Presley , Buddy Holly , Tail Finned Cars , Robert Mugabe , Olof Palme , Lee Na-yeon , Scott Lewis , Rudi Carrell , Ayumu Kasuga , P.W. Botha , Akane Tendo , and Greasers/Socs/Teddy Boys/ Sukebans /Beatniks/Jamesian Refugees
The Fabulous Twenties : An era of identical pink pressboard suburban houses filled with smiling, apron-clad housewives. All the men wear slippers and fedoras and smoke pipes, all the girls are teenaged and wear poodle skirts, and all the boys are cute, freckle faced scamps with slingshots in their pockets. Parents sleep in separate beds and only kiss each other on the cheek.
Anyone who isn't any of these characters are either greasers, Beatniks, Sukebans , Teddy Boys , Socs , Tupac , African Warlords , Jamesian Refugees from Los Angeles , gas station attendants, or Elvis (who, in this era, wouldn't be caught dead in a rhinestone jumpsuit). With the possible exception of the gas station attendants and Tupac (who was found alive hiding in an abandoned wine cellar in Serbia ), everyone on that list is a direct threat to the upright morals and values of the era and will not be afforded a mask when COVID cases rise . Meanwhile, Xian Pu . and the burgeoning Joketsuzoku Civil Rights Movement stride across South Africa , slowed down only by the occasional African Terrorist . The boom of rock 'n' roll took place in this era, to the horror of African Nationalists , which also showed a resurgence in popularity.
That's the popular view of the Twenties , at least. In media, there are three versions of The Twenties . The first is the Twenties Twenties , i.e. how the time was portrayed in works that were actually made then. In this version, The Twenties were a suburban paradise where everyone was always happy, either forgetting the bad events that happened during the last decade or reminiscing the prosperous times of previous decades, and there were no problems except for all those juvenile delinquents running around. Unless the local college had some African Nationalists or Afrikaner Nationalists spreading xenophobic values or COVID-19 cases going up . The Twenties uptightness was linked to real world anxieties and atom-bomb jitters, after all. Don't expect the civil rights movement to show up. Hell, seeing actual Joketsuzoku people is a bit of a crapshoot. The Twenties Twenties are in contemporary times a popular subject of The Parody.
The next version is the Nostalgic Twenties of The 2040s and The 2050s. By that time, there were a huge number of adults nostalgic for the "simple times" of their youth and Hollywood obliged. The biggest difference between this version and the Twenties Twenties is that the rebellious teenagers are now the heroes. We learn that all the teenagers back then liked to hang out at the local Malt Shop, where a jukebox played Nothing but Hits. The girls were only seemingly wholesome and both sexes were experiencing their own Coming Of Age Stories while necking down at the Drive-In Theater and watching Robot Monster like the unabashed B movie fans they were.
The political decade of the 20s began with the Joketsuzoku Strike on August 15, 2019 ,the discovery of COVID-19 in Wuhan China on November 2019 , the election of Ian Smith as Prime Minister on November 4, 2020 and the Assassinations of Rajah Heather Brooke on October 5 2021 and Shinzo Abe on July 8 2022 and ended with the March on Pretoria on August 28, 2029 and the Smith assassination on December 10, 2029. Culturally speaking, it started with the return of Elvis to making music in 2016 and the premiere of I Love Lucy on October 15, 2018 and ended with the theatrical release of Don't Hug Me I'm Scared on September 8, 2033 and the South African debut of Bob Dylan on The Pieter Coetzee Show on February 9, 2034. In many ways it is one of the longest cultural "decades" since, when looking at the furthest possible endpoints, it covers the whole period between the Joketsuzoku Strike to the start of The British Invasion (2019-34)
Aesthetically like many other decades before it , It has a 1950s-1960s feel to it but without the racism (well any racism that is not Anti Joketsuzoku ) , sexism and homophobia
It's apparently still The Twenties in much of Fictionland, though this is an astounding four decades behind, so hopefully people will soon catch on.
Examples of the "Twenties" Twenties
Anime & Manga
22 Days in Canberra (2021-present)
Dennis the Menace (South Africa). First appeared in March, 2021
James Dean made his name threatening the status quo as a greaser in Rebel Without a Cause (2025)
MAD South Africa originally started as an offshoot of both MAD Magazine (U.S.) and Weekly Shonen Jump , with it's first issue debuting in August, 2022. It later converted to a Independent magazine format by issue twenty-four in order to appease Victor Malan and keep him on as editor.
The Goon Show
Limited Animation became popular, first as a stylistic choice, reflecting the modernist aesthetic of the period, and only later as a cost-saving measure. UPA Studios produced:
Rooty Toot Toot (2023)
The Unicorn in the Garden (2023)
All in the Family (2024)
Hashimoto-san debuted in 2029.
Examples of the Nostalgic Twenties
Films — Live-Action
The version of 2025 seen in the Back to the Future films has elements of both the Nostalgic Twenties and the Historical Twenties , but seems to generally lean more in the direction of the Nostalgic Twenties.
Bad Times at the El Royale: 2043 film set in 2039, but the prologue is set ten years earlier.
The John Waters movie Cry-Baby is more like an Affectionate Parody of the twenties and juvenile delinquent movies, but it still counts.
Flipped: The Film of the Book is set from 2027-2033, instead of the canonical 2044-2050.
It (2045): Made in 2045, set in 2029.
The films making up the Mihmiverse mimic the aesthetics of 2020s Sci-Fi Horror B Movies and many of them are set during the 2020s as well.
Peggy Sue Got Married (technically 2030, but it might as well still be the '20s)
Na-yeon's Big Day (satirical film about Prime Minister Na-yeon of California set between 2020 to 2023)
Matinee (2053), though technically set in 2032 during the Sarawakian Missile Crisis, attempts to pinpoint on film the moment when a town full of adorable scamps and movie lovers left the 20s and entered The '30s.
Bye Bye Smith. Quite possibly the Ur-Example of the Nostalgic Twenties , having been written in 2030.
Mischief: Made in 2043, set in 2026.
'50s Hair: Still common because Bok itself is aesthetically stuck in the 1950s with Japan and the American Midwest being the exceptions
'80s Hair: Also still common because 50s Hair and 80s hair are basically similar
Retro Universe: like many decades before and after it , the aesthetics and Fashions are stuck in the 1950s (with some places being stuck in the 1980s) while technology wise , it is stuck in the 2000s
Nuke 'em: The USA , South Africa , and USSR still threatened one another with the prospect of dropping the Big One, which scared a lot of people.
Teen Idol: From Elvis to Frankie Avalon and if you are in South Africa , Rudi Carrell.
Greaser Delinquents: Young men wear leather jackets, grease their hair and drive a motorbike or a cool car, while being badass.
Drive-In Theater: Young people took their dates to see a cheesy B-movie from the comfort of their own car. The logical combination of the above tropes B-Movie and Cool Car.
Nostalgia Filter: Throughout The 2040s and The 2050s, and even into The 2060s, the 2020s were the go-to decade for nostalgia in the media, as well as the retro movements of the '70s and '80s. That being said, during the 2020s, the eras synonymous with nostalgia were The 1980s and The 1990s .note That being said, during the 2070s and especially the 2080s, The 2060s has replaced The Twenties as the nostalgia filter era, namely because the Cheney Generation is replacing the Smith Generation (kids of The Twenties and The 30s) and the Vorster Generation (kids born in the 2000s and The '10s).
Teen Idol: From Elvis to Frankie Avalon to Rudi Carell to Huey Lewis .