Mean Girls: The Fetchest High School Comedy That Defined A Generation Of Queen Bees And Wannabes

Janis Ian, a wise philosopher, once said, “There are two kinds of evil people in this world. Those who do evil stuff and those who see evil stuff being done and don’t try to stop it.” And that is the main plot of the film Mean Girls. It’s about a bunch of high school students who saw evil being done and tried to stop it. Well, that’s the philosophical version of the synopsis. And we’re kidding; Janis Ian is not a philosopher, she’s one of the characters in Mean Girls.

Finding movies like Mean Girls could be easy if you’re just on the lookout for a teenage comedy. There are tons of them. But if you’re looking for films with all the elements that made Mean Girls a hit, then there’s not a lot. But, there are a few that comes close.

So, get ready for some nostalgia as we talk about everyone’s favorite high school comedy and look at some movies like Mean Girls.

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What Is ‘Mean Girls’? 

Is that a serious question? What is “Mean Girls”? What cave have you been living under that you don’t know this great film in a waste bin of unoriginal American high school comedies? It’s smart, well-written, funny, iconic, and fetch. Duh!

Mean Girls is an era-defining Mark Waters-directed 2004 film that has left a lasting fetch legacy for 17 years since its first release. The film was an instant classic from its iconic lines, well-written story, ensemble cast, and memorable characters.

We’ll let you in on trivia because even big fans of the film aren’t aware of this: Tina Fey based Mean Girls on a self-help book. The book is called Queen Bees and Wannabees: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence by Rosalind Wiseman – a title that summarizes what the film is about. You don’t always get a film adaptation of a self-help book as a comedy, and that’s part of its genius writing.

Mean Girls: A Quick Synopsis

We all know what Mean Girls is about. If you don’t, then you can’t sit with us, and you probably can’t relate to some parts of this article where we are quoting some of the most iconic lines of the film. But, to be fair to people who haven’t seen it yet, we will give you a quick run of the story without any spoilers. 

WATCH VIDEO: Mean Girls (2004) Trailer

The Home-Schooled Jungle Freak

Mean Girls is the story of Cady Heron (played by Lindsay Lohan), who was home-schooled in Africa, where her parents worked as anthropologists. Until they moved to the US, that was her life. Then she started studying in a real high school with other teachers and students – something entirely new to her. And if you’ve seen American high schools depicted in films, or was an actual student in one, then you’d know how much of a tough place it can get. It’s not even a stereotype.

As a home-schooled girl, Cady is brilliant and is probably one of the most intelligent girls in her school. I guess home-schooling worked for her. But, what her home-schooling didn’t teach her is how different American high school is from an African home school. The savageness and lawlessness might be a common ground between American high schools and the African jungles – as Cady observed, but it’s an entirely different kind of wild jungle altogether. In this civilized American jungle, there are cliques and other high school dramas anyone from an African home school will take time to wrap their heads around.

The Cliques

The Cliques
On Wednesdays, we were pink. Source: thequiz

Speaking of cliques, Cady found two right away. The first is with a goth girl quasi-philosopher Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan) and “too gay to function” Damian (Daniel Franzese). They give her a mental walk-through of the cafeteria seating plans based on cliques and their level of coolness. The second clique Cady found is “The Plastics” led by the Queen Bee, Regina George (Rachel McAdams), a Barbie-like mental manipulator who once did car commercials in Japan. Her two worker bees are Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert), whose hair is so big because it’s full of secrets, and Karen (Amanda Seyfried), whose left breast can predict the weather because she has ESPN or something.

That’s when Cady’s high school life turned junglier as she navigates her life between two different cliques and plays a different role in both. When she is with Janis and Damian, she’s the nerdy, Math-loving, good friend who would want to avenge Janis for Regina’s life-ruining ways during their pre-high school life. But, when she is with The Plastics, she becomes Regina’s fourth backstabbing, pink-wearing worker bee.

The Mean Girl

Will Cady graduate from high school with her African home school values still intact, or will she be too tempted by the queen bee’s honey and become a mean girl herself? That’s the main gist of the film’s synopsis. But, like most films, the plot is just one of the many laudable aspects of Mean Girls. The script is an art form on its own that has spawned countless conversations between people from all over the world using expressions inspired by the film.

How Mean Girls Defined An Era Of Moviegoers

The Language Of Mean Girls 

How Mean Girls Defined An Era Of Moviegoers
Damian being too gay to function again! Source: https://akns-images.eonline

There aren’t many films that created a vocabulary that people of all generations still use daily even after 17 years. Mean Girls’ status as a huge pop culture phenomenon is unparalleled that many still reference all the witty lines from the film in daily conversations.

If you go to Twitter and other social media and blog sites, you can still find many memes with a line from the movie. Tumblr, another social networking website, has said that there are around 10,000 to 477,000 Mean Girls-related memes and notes that the users post in a month. On Google, ‘movies like Mean Girls’ is also a widely-searched topic.

It looks like we’re not yet over the greatness of Mean Girls so let’s revisit some of the most memorable lines from the film. Here are some of what we thought were the most iconic:

“I know, right?”

Although this line was already in the Urban Dictionary long before Mean Girls, many people assumed that Regina George made this nonsensical catchphrase famous. Talk about impact!

“That is so fetch!”

“So fetch” is a slang that Gretchen Wieners repeatedly kept saying throughout the film in the hopes of making it the next it-girl catchphrase version of “that’s cool” or “how nice”. Unfortunately, Regina wasn’t having any of it and told her to “stop making fetch happen”. Sorry to break it to you, Regina, but fetch did happen.

“On Wednesdays, we wear pink.”

Right after Cady meets The Plastics, Regina invited her to join their clique and informed her that they wear certain clothes on certain days of the week, to which Karen Smith added this famous line. It has gotten so popular that fans would wear pink on Wednesdays to celebrate their love for the film.

“I’m not like a regular mom, I’m a cool mom!”

Regina’s mom said this after introducing herself to Cady, to which Regina replied by saying, “Please stop talking.” I love how dysfunctional this family is. 

“That’s why her hair is so big. It’s full of secrets.”

While giving Cady a little background on who The Plastics are, he introduced Gretchen and her curly hair with this line.

“Ex-boyfriends are off-limits to friends. That’s just, like, the rules of feminism.”

Gretchen Wieners may only be a supporting character in the film, but every scene she is in is so memorable, especially whenever she says lines like this.

“Your mom’s chest hair!”

Insulting each other is a typical high school thing. So, when one of the boys was making fun of Janis by saying, “Nice wig, Janis. What’s it made of?” she clapped back by saying, “Your mom’s chest hair!” Classic.

“Why are you so obsessed with me?”

This line that Regina said when she was talking to Cady about her friendship with Janis and how they had a falling out may not be the most iconic in the film. But it’s iconic enough to inspire Mariah Carey to write a song called “Obsessed,” referencing this line in the chorus.

“I’m sorry that people are so jealous of me. But I can’t help it that I’m popular.”

Whether you agree or not, Gretchen probably has the most iconic lines in the film. And this one is one of them.

“You can’t sit with us!”

Of course, it’s Gretchen again who said this line when she had enough of Regina’s manipulative ways.

“Is butter a carb?”

For some reason, this line became so popular that it is a widely searched question on Google. Some websites and food blogs would often use this as a title for their articles. They know how significant Mean Girls’ influence is. 

“Whatever, I’m getting cheese fries.”

Regina’s character needed to lose weight to prepare for prom, hence her most iconic lines revolving around food. And even if she says silly things like this, it becomes funny, especially if juxtaposed with her serious expressions.

“The limit does not exist.”

Even if Cady is the film’s main star, she doesn’t have that many iconic lines. Maybe it has something to do with her naive character or something. She has a few, but they’re nothing compared to Gretchen’s. Still, this one is one of her most popular ones.

WATCH VIDEO: Top 10 Best Mean Girls Quotes

Did you enjoy 10 Things I Hate About You? Then read about some of the film’s iconic quotes.

Where Are The Stars Now?

Where Are The Stars Now?
The Plastics as plastic versions of themselves. Source: Pixabay

Some of the cast of Mean Girls had already established a Hollywood career by the time Mean Girls came out in 2004. Some of them had their break-out roles in it. Let’s take a look at what the actors behind the iconic characters are up to now.

Lindsay Lohan

She was 17 when Mean Girls came out, but she was already in a few popular films as a child actress even before that. Her first film was “The Parent Trap”.

Growing up, she had a few ups and downs in her life and career caused by her family issues and scandals. She also starred in several films, but none ever came close to how successful Mean Girls was. Now, she is an entrepreneur who is living in Dubai.

Rachel McAdams

She debuted in “The Hot Chick”, but Mean Girls launched her acting career to superstardom. Unlike Lindsay Lohan, she was able to star in several critically acclaimed films like “The Notebook”, “Disobedience”, “Doctor Strange”, “Sherlock Holmes”, “The Little Prince”, and “Passion”. In 2018, she gave birth to her son with her partner, James Linden.

Lacey Chabert

Although she hasn’t had many mainstream films, she’s done some projects and is now a Hallmark movie actress. She’s still so fetch!

Amanda Seyfried

Among the main casts of Mean Girls, she was able to keep the momentum of her acting career going with tons of successful and acclaimed movies. One of her most notable films is “Mamma Mia!” alongside one of the greatest Hollywood actresses of all time, Meryl Streep. Some of her other films include “Mank”, ”In Time”, “Ted”, “Chloe”, “Lovelace”, and more. She also had a few movies like Mean Girls, one of which is  ”Jennifer’s Body” You go, Karen!

Lizzy Caplan

Her role as Janis Ian is one of her first big breaks. It was soon followed by several acting stints in “Cloverfield”, “Now You See Me 2”, “The Disaster Artist”, and some TV series like “Castle Rock”. She eventually became an Emmy-nominated actress for her role in “Masters of Sex”.

Jonathan Bennett

It looks like he is into food, as he has pursued several food-related projects after Mean Girls. Two of these projects include hosting “Cake Wars” and releasing a cookbook called “The Burn Cookbook: An Unofficial Unauthorized Cookbook for Mean Girls Fans”.

He was also in several TV shows like “Celebrity Big Brother” and an Ariana Grande music video for her song “Thank U, Next”.

He also announced his engagement with his partner James Vaughan in November 2020. He said that Mean Girls fans were nothing short of supportive of his coming out. Love wins.

Daniel Franzese

After Mean Girls, he had several projects ranging from movies and TV shows to comedy tours. He also owns “The Winston Box”, a clothing service for tall men on the heavy side. He may not have starred in other movies like Mean Girls, but we know he’s not too gay to function since he’s been active in his career in acting and entrepreneurship.

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Movies Like Mean Girls

It’s only natural for a film that has reached a cult following to get spinoffs. Several films have also inspired from Mean Girls or the other way around. Either way, if you enjoyed Mean Girls – which we are sure you did – you should check out these other movies like Mean Girls:


Among many other teen dramas, this film starring Rose McGowan probably shares many similarities to Mean Girls. Although it is not an in-your-face kind of comedy and wasn’t well-received by critics, it is still an enjoyable film that you should check out. 

Lady Bird

This Greta Gerwig-directed coming-of-age drama received several Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actress for the charming Saoirse Ronan (if you can’t pronounce her name, don’t worry, you’re not alone). Many critics and Time Magazine hailed it as one of 2017’s best films.

Girls Trip

It looks like we have another film that was released in 2017 and was in Time Magazine’s Top 10 films of the year list. Starring Queen Latifah and Tiffany Haddish, this is a story of a group of girls who reunited and decided to take a road trip. It’s a rare film, and we can safely say that there aren’t many movies like Girls Trip.


Here is another film that may not be as well-received as Mean Girls or Girls Trip, but it has some similar elements like a clique of girls going on a road trip. Britney Spears is also starring in the leading role in one of her few acting projects. There are also several scenes where she sings some of her signature songs like “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman”. What’s not to like about it?

Jennifer’s Body

There aren’t that many comedy horror films that are as effective as Jennifer’s Body. Imagine getting scared and laughing at the same time. That isn’t easy to pull off. That is why it was a huge surprise when the film wasn’t well-received when it first came out in 2009. 

Fast forward to 2018; critics started to reevaluate their opinions of this Diablo Cody-written film which also stars Amanda Seyfried. They decided they made a mistake and that it is now a cult classic. Of course, they did. It was a film that was ahead of its time.

Wild Child

Although there are many teenage comedy movies like Wild Child, there’s still something brilliant with the story of this movie. It’s a feel-good romantic comedy film that you can enjoy when you want to have a little bit of distraction.


The film came out in 1989, 15 years before the start of the Mean Girls era. Back then, it was considered a game-changing teen drama that probably started the trend of witty high school comedies. Also, Winona Ryder shines in this film.


It’s possibly one of the best American black comedies released during its time. Its plot revolves around an election in a high school with Reese Witherspoon in the lead. It’s a perfect satire for politics and some aspects of high school, making it win the Best Adapted Screenplay in The Academy Awards.

Princess Diaries

It has been a regular pattern in the careers of Hollywood actresses how they would start their careers in a high school comedy and then evolve into one of the most sought-after stars of their time. Look at Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried and their projects after Mean Girls. Princess Diaries did the same for Anne Hathaway’s career. 

As we said, there aren’t that many movies like Mean Girls, and Princess Diaries isn’t one of them. But, the film became so famous and iconic since the story resonated with many teenage students, making Anne Hathaway a household name.

Easy A

Like we just said, it’s a typical pattern in Hollywood for young actresses to have their big break in a teenage comedy and then become an A-lister. Emma Stone in Easy A is living proof of that.
From being in teenage comedy that was widely funny and relatable, especially for teenage girls, she is not an award-winning actress. Easy A, her first film, was a good start in her career. The film was tastefully done and was almost on the same level as Mean Girls when it came to its quirks.

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Mean Girls 2

Rumors have been going around for several years now that there might be a sequel for Mean Girls. Although there is already a Mean Girls 2 made in 2011, it wasn’t exactly the sequel we deserved; it was a disappointing spinoff that only borrowed the original film’s title and did nothing to improve it. It was lackluster compared to the original. We would want to see the original cast reprise their roles, and it seems like all of them are on board. If a sequel were really to happen, then it would be so fetch.

Even if there are many great teenage comedies that have come out since then, of course, the fetchest film of the early 2000s is still the best of its kind. There may not be that many movies like Mean Girls, and we are a generation that was lucky enough to witness it become as big as it is.

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Leonard hails from the Philippines and works as a freelancer, author, poet, and visual artist. He discovered his passion for writing and painting at an early age, leading him to pursue a degree in Mass Communications. He worked at a few places after college before landing what he thought was a "life-changing" writing career. He was also the lead singer and songwriter for a band. His career as an English teacher, poet, and visual artist took him to Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2018. You can see more of his work on Instagram at @anumalei.