In 2014, Taiwan and Hong Kong witnessed the largest episodes of political contention in their histories. Both the Sunflower Movement and the Umbrella Movement were propelled by youth activists, accelerated in unpredictable ways, and received names not of their choosing. Yet their outcomes were very different. Based on first-hand participant-observation, this talk will compare and contrast the emergence and outcomes of both of these protests. Rather than provide a simple verdict on the two movements, it will explore how activists and state officials have themselves socially constructed notions of “success” and “failure” for these complex and unfinished struggles.