A group of young adults poses enthusiastically for a photo.

In the Age of Identity Politics, Millennial/Gen-Z Cusps Finally Have Their Own Name

Did you witness the dawn of "I can has cheezburger?" and also crave the violent downfall of capitalism? You might be one of us.

There is a subset of adults born between the years 1990 and 2000, and they’re having an identity crisis. Neither cringe Millennials nor aggressively apathetic and tired-eyed Gen-Z, they were (until recently) forced to choose a side in the culture battle between the two generations. Now, they stand all on their own with a new title: Zillennials.

Recommended Videos

“Zillennial” means exactly what it sounds like: the center point between Millennials and Gen-Z. We saw the rise of meme culture, spent hours upon hours taking Buzzfeed quizzes, had a room in the house dedicated to the shared family computer, and cannot afford to buy houses. In other words, Zillennials bridge the gap between those holding out what little remaining hope there is for mankind (Millennials) and the nihilistic new kids with minds of their own and a dangerous prowess in the digital age.

The date range for who constitutes a Zillennial isn’t firm but it’s said to apply to those born between approximately 1990 and 2000, or maybe 1992 and 2002. We saw the transition from 90s tech and the launch of the first iPhone. We watched Education Connection commercials between episodes of Ed, Edd, n Eddy. We remember when all the text bubbles were green. We eradicated low-rise jeans (you’re welcome, btw). We invented short-form content (RIP Vine). We kinda remember 9/11?

Before we had this new identifier, we didn’t really know what to tell people when they said “Ohhhh, a Millennial” (with that patronizing eyeroll). We looked at older Millennials clinging to their mustache merchandise, infinity scarves, and zombie apocalypse obsession and couldn’t really relate. We looked at the coolest kids in the world, Gen-Z, and wanted to relate, but couldn’t quite find a way into the club.

Personally, I began identifying as whatever was convenient in any given situation.

Meeting a Gen-Z classmate? “Millennials are so cringe. Can you pass me that borg?.”

Meeting a Millennial coworker? “Is this the HSM2 soundtrack? Turn it up!”

Assuming this new nomer catches on, we will no longer have to subject ourselves to the condescending side-eyes of Gen-X and the Boomers. Gen-Z still might not accept us fully, but that’s fair. They’re too cool for us anyways. Millennials might feel betrayed by our disinterest in their quirky ukulele Facebook videos, but there’s still a community out there for them even in our absence. In any event, Zillennials can rejoice in our niche nostalgia and revel in paying rent for the rest of our lives.

(featured image: monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images)

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Scout
Scout (she/her/hers) is a freelance news writer for The Mary Sue. When not scrolling Twitter, she's thinking about scrolling Twitter. She likes short walks on the beach, glitter pens, and burnt coffee. She does not read the comments.