Tarlov's breakthrough role was as mean girl Sadie Saxton in the MTV original series, Awkward, that debuted in 2011. Tarlov's character was notable for her intense dislike of the main character, Jenna, played by Ashley Rickards, and for her complex struggles with weight and her own neuroses and insecurities. Sadie was also noteworthy for nasty putdowns that were followed by her signature, "You're Welcome!" on topics from bulimia, being gay, and appropriate behavior. The character inspired Twitter feeds and GIFs.