Adolescents have long been recognised as influential in the processes of language variation and change. Survey studies have uncovered their unique role in patterns of inter-generational change, leading to the identification of the adolescent peak (see Section 2). Subsequent research has examined the social practice of adolescents in order to uncover what it is that makes them so influential in language change. In addition to augmenting approaches to adolescent speakers, this work has significantly influenced the scope of variationist analyses more generally. This chapter charts the progress of research on adolescence in variationist sociolinguistics and explores how this work has shaped the variationist enterprise. In particular, we explore some of the relationships between different strands of research and suggest that a combined approach could lead to a better understanding of the role adolescents play in language variation and change, as well as further enriching our knowledge of the stylistic capabilities of, and constraints on, human language behaviour.