No, It’s Not A Phase: ‘Quarter-Life Crisis’ turns 20-somethings’ doubt into comedy


A photo from Taylor Tomlinson’s Instagram advertising “Quarter-Life Crisis.” Her comedy is mainly directed at those in their mid to late twenties.  @taylortomlinson

A photo from Taylor Tomlinson’s Instagram advertising “Quarter-Life Crisis.” Her comedy is mainly directed at those in their mid to late twenties. @taylortomlinson

Maybe some college students haven’t had theirs yet, but many can relate to the idea of the quarter-life crisis that Taylor Tomlinson jokes about in her Netflix special of the same name. The 26-year-old comedian explains why she’s fed up with this period of her life and gives some idea of what might be in store for college kids soon enough.  

Most of Tomlinson’s comedy was light and funny. She focused the majority of her stand-up on dating, sexuality, marriage and having children. Her jokes were most relatable for people in an age bracket just above college students, those in their mid- to late twenties when people begin to think about getting married and having kids. College students can still get her jokes, but they might not be so relevant to them yet.  

What might be relatable is Tomlinson’s portrayal of daily life in one’s twenties. She questions if some of the weird things she does now are just a phase or an actual problem. Though one’s twenties should be fun, she argues they’re just a period of life when a person doesn’t have a lot of responsibilities. No one expects much from a twenty-something because they’re “garbage — thinner garbage — but [still] garbage.” Someone in their twenties has a lot of work to do on themselves, she says, noting that “your twenties are an opportunity to fish trash out of the lake before it freezes over” and your personality solidifies at age 30.  

As many comedians do, Tomlinson comes from an interesting background. She was raised as a devout Christian and grew up with three sisters. Tomlinson uses this background to make jokes throughout her routine.  

A lot of these jokes focus on the juxtaposition of devoutly Christian ways with those of society at large, as well as what is considered acceptable in each group. For example, Tomlinson talks about growing up abstaining from drugs, alcohol and sex and how this made her different from her friends and shaped her habits as an adult. While she wasn’t having sex, she says, she was finishing from “having other things” done to her. Tomlinson joked that she would pray for those friends of hers who were going to hell because they were having sex, but doing so without even finishing.  

Tomlinson made some good points to actually think about in her comedy. When she discussed having kids, she said that people wishing to adopt a child must jump through so many hoops but that people who give birth to their biological children don’t need to take a basic life skills test or other sort of qualifying exam before leaving the hospital. Her statements were funny but also thought-provoking.  

Similarly, Tomlinson spoke about how she was surprised to experience sexual rejection when trying to lose her virginity. She jokes — though her point is quite true — that girls are brought up to believe that boys will want them sexually, so they must protect themselves. Meanwhile, boys are taught that they “need to get consent, which is a noise she makes, not a feeling [they] feel,” Tomlinson said, imitating a parent lecturing a growing boy. Her narrow definition of consent was interesting for the way it called out the manner in which many young men consider consent.  

Funny and relatable, Tomlinson is sure to produce more great comedy in years to come. At some point she will grow out of her twenties, but “Quarter-Life Crisis” will remain a testament to the fact that doubt isn’t a phase — it’s just something you’ll have to get through with a little laughter.  

Rating: 4/5 

Stephanie Santillo is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at  

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