This paper troubles the im/possibilities of exploring difference through queer popular culture within the teacher education classroom. This article locates such pedagogical practice as existing in opposition to dominant neoliberal discourses around the marketization of higher education as well as queerness in mainstream popular culture, and the expectation of students that all education coursework should be ?relevant? to mainstream marketplace classrooms. In response to previous research and our own empirical evidence that highlights the ways in which students? (and teacher education courses?) conception of ?relevance? is not critically theorized in either pedagogical or curricular ways, this paper problematizes such notions of ?relevance? within a changing ecology of teacher education classrooms. Here we argue that the hopes for challenging normativity within teacher education spaces can be at odds with the possibilities that popular culture devices offer, as they are inevitably shaped, informed and foreclosed by governmental policy and social expectations. Such neoliberal influences do not necessarily align well with the high hopes held by critical educators for the use of popular culture as a tool for challenging notions of ?difference? within the teacher education classroom.