[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/meangirls.jpg]]

->''"Where you sit in the cafeteria is crucial because you got everybody there. You got your Freshmen, ROTC Guys, Preps, JV Jocks, [[AsianAndNerdy Asian Nerds]], Cool Asians, [[BigManOnCampus Varsity Jocks]], [[SassyBlackWoman Unfriendly Black Hotties]], Girls Who Eat Their Feelings, [[WeightWoe Girls Who Don't Eat Anything]], Desperate Wannabes, Burnouts, Sexually Active Band Geeks, [[TrueCompanions The Greatest People You Will Ever Meet]], [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg and The Worst]]. Beware of The Plastics."''
-->-- '''Janis Ian'''

''Mean Girls'' is a fairly [[{{Troperiffic}} trope-heavy]] comedy movie about a teen girl named Cady who goes to a school that is dominated by a [[AlphaBitch popular girl]] named Regina. Cady's CoolLoser friends Janis and Damian persuade her to [[TheInfiltration join]] Regina's GirlPosse for the purpose of spying on Regina. Before long, Cady ends up [[BecomingTheMask identifying with Regina's whole value system]]. There's lots of bitchy backstabbing, lots of [[AnAesop lessons learned]], and lots of [[HilarityEnsues funny situations]] along the way. Overall, it's something of a LighterAndSofter SpiritualSuccessor to the {{cult|Classic}} {{black comedy}} ''{{Film/Heathers}}'', with a healthy cult following.

Written by Creator/TinaFey (who was also one of the stars) and starring Music/LindsayLohan, Creator/RachelMcAdams, Creator/AmandaSeyfried and Creator/LaceyChabert. Often considered to have been Lohan's big break and the one most critics and fans will cite as her best performance. The movie is actually adapted from a book called ''Queen Bees and Wannabees: How to Help Your Daughter Survive Gossip, Cliques, Boyfriends and the New Reality of Girl World''. ''[[PragmaticAdaptation Very]]'' loosely based, as implied by the subtitle it's actually a non-fiction self-help book along the lines of what you'd expect from DrPhil (the story goes Fey didn't even realize this and just bought the story rights from the title alone - [[TropesAreNotBad and perhaps even for the best]] given the resulting script and how much the movie's loved).

Has a NintendoDS game adaptation and a [[DirectToVideo direct-to-DVD]] sequel. Fey is [[http://www.nextmovie.com/blog/mean-girls-musical-update/ currently]] trying to [[ScreenToStageAdaptation adapt it into a stage musical]].

Now has a [[Characters/MeanGirls Character Sheet]] under construction.

----
!!This film provides examples of the following tropes:

* AbhorrentAdmirer: Kevin towards Cady.
* AdultsAreUseless: Averted with Ms. Norbury, who proves to be very understanding of what Cady and the other girls are going through. However, played straight with Cady's parents and especially Regina's mother.
** In all fairness to Cady's parents, they do try to discipline her and make sure she knows right from wrong. Try being the operative word, though her mother seems a bit more proactive than her father. Regina's parents, however, are plain useless - especially Mrs. George.
* AdultFear: [[spoiler:Regina's mother watches her daughter get hit by a school bus.]]
* AllHallowsEve: The Halloween party.
* AlphaBitch: Regina and, [[BecomingTheMask later]], Cady. The whole movie is arguably a DeconstructiveParody of this trope, demonstrating how a girl can be so simultaneously loved, feared, and hated by the rest of the student body.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Regina claims Janice Ian is a lesbian, though she's actually [[spoiler:Lebanese]]. Her outfits reinforce the stereotype, but by the end of the film it's obviously not true.
* AnAesop: Be yourself (of course!). Also that judging and antagonizing each other doesn't really benefit anyone.
* AntagonistTitle: The title refers to Regina and her lackeys; Regina is the antagonist of the film. By the end of the film, [[spoiler:it refers to [[FaceHeelTurn the protagonist as well]].]]
* ArtisticLicense: That is ''not'' how math competitions work...
* ArtisticLicenseGeography: In one scene, the characters go to Old Orchard Mall (technically "Westfield Old Orchard"), a Chicago-area mall known for being a large, ''outdoor'' mall. Its stand-in was Sherway Gardens in Etobicoke, Ontario, a more conventional ''indoor'' mall.
* ArtisticLicenseMedicine: There is little chance someone who was hit by a bus and injured badly enough to need a halo (meaning, basically, that she damaged part of her neck) would ever be cleared to play a sport as physical as lacrosse, let alone in a matter of a few months.
* AsianAirhead: The Cool Asians clique.
* BackhandedApology: When choosing a fault to apologize for before falling backwards and letting others catch you, it is not a good idea to apologize for being so popular it makes everyone else jealous.
** Janis also does this with Regina when she "apologizes" for helping Cady in sabotaging her and says she did it because "I guess I've got a BIG, ''LESBIAN'' [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome CRUSH ON YOU!]]"
** The two unnamed girls who apologize first also fall under this - "it's not your fault you're so gap-toothed," and "I don't hate you because you're fat. You're fat because I hate you".
* BadassTeacher: Principal Duvall. Doesn't do anything typically badass during the film, but sometimes sheer presence is enough: looking at the man, especially when he's giving a stern lecture [[BatterUp whilst wielding a baseball bat]], just tell me you wouldn't a) hang on to his every word or b) not want to take him on in a fight.
* BaitAndSwitch: When Regina realizes Cady tricked her into eating weight-gain bars for months, she heads home, cuts a picture of them in half, writes into the Burn Book "This girl is the nastiest skank bitch I've ever met. Do not trust her! She is a ''fugly slut''!", and pastes in her ''own'' half of the picture.
* BareYourMidriff: Most of Gretchen's outfits.
* BasedOnAnAdviceBook: ''Queen Bees & Wannabes'' by Rosalind Wiseman, written as a guide for parents with teenage daughters to help them understand the social structures and viciousness of high school life.
** All of the Plastics' rules about how they dress, act, etc. come almost word-for-word from one girl's actual testimonial about her clique in the book. [[FridgeHorror Think about that for a second]].
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Subverted.
* BecomingTheMask: Cady's transformation into the AlphaBitch.
-->'''Cady:''' ''[narrating]'' I know it might ''look'' like I'd become a bitch, but that's only because I was acting like a bitch.
* BilingualBonus: Trang Pak and Sun Jin Dinh's dialogue becomes [[FunWithSubtitles a lot funnier if you speak Vietnamese]]. Also, at the end of the movie, when [[spoiler: Gretchen is brown-nosing to the Cool Asians in Oriental-sounding gibberish]], one of them says (in confused and unsubtitled Vietnamese), "What?"
** Another one of sorts: "Regina" is the Latin word for "Queen". Makes sense, no?
* BillingDisplacement: When a ''Mean Girls'' game came out for the NintendoDS in 2010, LindsayLohan, the film's star, wasn't on the cover. The tabloids [[http://perezhilton.com/2010-04-12-fill-in-the-blank-330#respond had a field day with this.]]
* BlatantLies:
-->'''Karen:''' "I can't come out. ''[fake coughing]'' I'm sick."
** Most of Regina's behavior fits this trope.
* BlondesAreEvil: Regina. Subverted with Karen, who is actually pretty nice.
* BlondeBrunetteRedhead: The Plastics after Cady enters, [[spoiler:and especially after Regina leaves.]]
* BloodSplatteredWeddingDress: Cady's Halloween costume.
* {{Bowdleri|se}}zation: Creator/TinaFey's [[http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/mean_girls.pdf original script]] was a raunchy, R-rated sex comedy in the vein of ''Film/{{Porkys}}'' and ''Film/AmericanPie''. It featured much stronger sexual references -- one of the characters admits to masturbating with a hot dog [[note]]In the final version, "masturbated" was dubbed over with "made out" -- and anyone who knows how to lip-read can tell what the original line was supposed to be.[[/note]], and the scene where Gretchen is caught kissing a boy in the bathroom was supposed to be her performing oral sex on him. Regina and Karen were to have topless scenes, and their Halloween costumes were also supposed to be skimpier than what was shown in the final film, amounting to pretty much what Cady describes: lingerie plus animal ears. There was also a subplot involving an ecstasy-popping ClubKid named Barry. These were changed when LindsayLohan was hired to play the lead, as she was trying to keep a squeaky-clean image at the time.[[note]][[HilariousInHindsight Oh, if they only knew what would happen to her years after the movie came out...]][[/note]]
** One could argue [[TropesAreNotBad this is for the better]], as it makes ''Mean Girls'' more accessible to the teen demographic that can relate to the characters, and also makes it stand out from the pack of movies in the genre.
** This trope also applies whenever the movie is aired on a "family" channel such as ABC Family. All the strange and varyingly clumsy ways they try to cover up or eliminate anything objectionable would make for a great drinking game (if there wasn't the dangerous possibility of the players dying of alcohol poisoning).
* TheBrainlessBeauty: Karen (see DumbBlonde).
* BreakTheHaughty: Regina during the first half of the movie, and Cady during the second half.
* ButIDigress: {{Lampshaded}} in the Spring Fling scene.
-->'''Mr. Duvall:''' "You know, you're not really required to make a speech..."
* ButtMonkey: Regina George, the butt of all of Cady's (technically Janis's) tricks and pranks. [[{{Jerkass}} She probably deserves it, though.]]
* CaliforniaDoubling: As RogerEbert [[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040430/REVIEWS/404300306 put it]], "She enrolls in Evanston Township High School -- which, like all American high schools in the movies, is physically located in UsefulNotes/{{Toronto}}"
* CampGay: Damien is "almost too gay to function."
* [[CantBelieveISaidThat Can't Believe I Said That]]: Invoked by Gretchen a couple times when insulting Regina. It's pretense, of course.
* ChekhovsGun:
** Chekhov's [[spoiler:big yellow school bus]], rather.
** Before the talent show scene, Janis tells Cady that "everybody in the English speaking world" knows the words to the song "Jingle Bell Rock". Cady presumably used this information to save the act.
* CoolLoser: Janis Ian. She used to be popular, but during middle school, Regina spread rumors claiming that she was a lesbian.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Karen.
-->"My breasts can always tell when it's going to rain. Well, they can always tell when it's ''raining''."
-->(later) ''[standing in the rain, feeling her breasts]'' "There's a... 30% chance it's already raining!"
* CorruptTheCutie: This is half the plot.
* CurseCutShort: Regina.
--> "You can take that fake apology, and shove it right up your hairy c--" ([[spoiler:Regina gets hit by a school bus.]])
* CutASliceTakeTheRest: During the time when Regina is unknowingly being manipulated into gaining weight, she can be seen cutting off the end of a loaf of French bread and biting the loaf. Tina Fey notices this for the first time during the {{DVD Commentary}} and actually remarks that BugsBunny [[GoldenAgeOfAnimation used to]] [[ZanyCartoon do that]].
* DamnYouMuscleMemory: Gretchen is forced to change her usual place in "Jingle Bell Rock". As a result, [[EpicFail she stumbles into Regina, then into the stereo that starts skipping, and kicks the thing into her crush's face.]]
* DanceOfRomance: Subverted with Damian, then almost immediately played straight with Kevin.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: Janice gets a good one; "She's a life ruiner. She ruins peoples lives."
* DesignatedGirlFight: [[spoiler: In the Matheletes sudden death round, Cady vs. Kraft.]]
-->"We pick the girl too."
* DiggingYourselfDeeper: Cady's 'word vomit'.
* TheDitz: Karen.
* DownToTheLastPlay: The Mathletics championship comes down to a sudden-death, one-on-one DesignatedGirlFight.
* DumbBlonde: Karen.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Cady towards the end.
* EatingLunchAlone: Occurs with Cady twice: on her first day of school, when she hasn't made any friends, and [[spoiler:after she's been kicked out of the Plastics and rejected by Janis and Damian.]]
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: The first appearance of the Plastics, (apart from Damien's commentary) down to their clothes, nicely encapsulates their characters and positions. Karen tries to catch a ball but [[DumbBlonde fails with the ball bouncing off her breasts,]] she happens to be the Plastic with the [[ReallyGetsAround shortest shorts.]] Gretchen, while on the phone [[ExtremeDoormat gets hit by a ball]] and [[AttentionWhore bares her midriff]] while Regina is [[AlphaBitch carried on the shoulders of a group of guys.]] Enough said.
* EvenTheGirlsWantHer: Regina. Cady is also shown to have this kind of appeal later on as well.
* FaceHeelTurn: Over the course of the film, the friendly and good-hearted Cady usurps Regina's position and becomes the mean-spirited AlphaBitch of the school. She goes through a subsequent HeelFaceTurn when she's confronted with her actions.
* {{Fanservice}}: [[BunnyGirl The Halloween party]], [[SexySantaDress the Christmas pageant]], Creator/AmandaSeyfried [[SexySoakedShirt in a wet T-shirt]], Lacey Chabert in a nightie while talking on the phone, TinaFey [[LingerieScene stripping down to a bra]]... this movie is in love with this trope. Even [[http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/mean-girls-mean-girls-200481_640_657.jpg the]] [[http://blog.lib.umn.edu/raim0007/gwss3307_summer2008/mean_girls.jpg publicity]] [[http://youngpost.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/meangirls11.jpg shots]] show about ten square feet of leg.
* FallenPrincess: Janis used to be popular, but her reputation was destroyed by a rumor and she now willingly embraces outsiderdom.
* FiveFiveFive: The business card the mathlete hands to Cady has 555 as part of his phone number.
* ForcedMeme: Gretchen tries to make "Fetch" happen. Repeatedly.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: A narrating Cady, with regards to her immediate crush on Aaron:
-->'''Cady:''' [[spoiler:But this one hit me like a big yellow school bus.]]
** Another one, foreshadowing the exact same event, comes at the very beginning, when Cady [[spoiler:is almost hit by a big yellow school bus]].
* FormerFriendOfAlphaBitch: Janis to Regina.
* FriendshipMoment: Played straight with Janis's art, and played for laughs (though also rather sweetly) with Karen catching Gretchen in the circle of trust.
* FullCircleRevolution: Janis frames their smearing of Regina as "bringing down a dictator", and sure enough all they do is replace one Queen Bee with [[BecomingTheMask another one]].
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: During Cady's phone call with Regina, you can see Regina's little sister watching GirlsGoneWild and lifting up her shirt while cheering.
** The two girls making out at the Halloween party. Tina Fey points this out in the commentary, and says she has no idea how they got away with it.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: When she first learns about the Burn Book, Janis calls Regina an "axe wound" - a slang term for a four-letter-word...
* GirlPosse: The "Plastics" (Regina, Karen, Gretchen, and later Cady) are unusually well-developed examples. There's also Trang Pak and her "Cool Asians."
* GoodParents: Cady's parents have shown to be loving and caring towards her.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Karen and Gretchen.
** Mixed-Sexuality Life Partners: Janis and Damian.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters
-->'''Cady''': You know I couldn't invite you! I had to pretend to be plastic!
-->'''Janis''': [laughs] Buddy, you're not pretending anymore! You're plastic! Cold, shiny, hard plastic!
** Of course, [[YouAreWhatYouHate Janis qualifies just as much]], and even caused Cady's example to start with.
* HeelFaceTurn: Cady at Spring Fling, and all the Plastics at the end.
** Arguably before that, when [[spoiler: Cady takes the blame for the Burn Book]].
* HeelRealization: Cady's response when Janis points out that she's become just as bad as the Plastics is to cry.
** Happens a second time when she squares off against the remarkably unstylish girl in the rival math club. Cady realizes that making fun of her appearance and horrendous fashion sense would not win the competition, that calling someone else ugly won't make you more beautiful, etc.
* HiddenDepths: Gretchen [[spoiler:confesses to Cady that she's secretly miserable as Regina's friend and has to pretend to like and not like certain things to get Regina's approval.]]
* HighSchool
* HighSchoolDance: Spring Fling at the end.
* HomeschooledKids: Cady is one. The opening scene also parodies the stereotype of home schooled kids being either ultra-{{nerd}}s or [[TheFundamentalist religious whackos]].
-->"[[AsTheGoodBookSays And on the third day]], {{God}} created [[CoolGuns the Remington bolt-action rifle]] so that [[ArtisticLicensePaleontology Man could fight the dinosaurs]]. ''<{{beat}}>'' [[HeteronormativeCrusader And the homosexuals.]] ''Amen!''"
* HormoneAddledTeenager: Most of them, but since the movie's a comedy it's mostly PlayedForLaughs.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Aaron expresses strong disapproval at Cady becoming a second Regina, despite having dated her until she left him (the first time) and until she cheated on him (the second). [[CharacterDevelopment He grows out of it, though.]]
* ImportantHaircut: Off screen. After Regina spread the rumor in middle school that Janis was a lesbian, Janis dropped out of school for the rest of the year; when she returned in the fall, "all her hair was cut off, and she was totally weird."
* IndulgentFantasySegue: Cady fantasizes about beating the crap out of Regina over a boy that they both like.
** At the end, Cady fantasizes the Junior Plastics [[LookBothWays getting their comeuppance]].
* TheInfiltration
* InformedJudaism: Gretchen mentions receiving Hanukkah gifts.
* InventorOfTheMundane: Gretchen's father invented toaster strudel.
* InWithTheInCrowd
* {{Jerkass}}: Regina George.
* KarmaHoudini: Janis, who, despite influencing and encouraging Cady to join the Plastics specifically to damage Regina, gets zero comeuppance when she reveals it to the entire crowd of girls following the revelation of the Burn Book. In fact, she gets ''applauded'' for it! Cady, in the meantime, is treated as a bitch by everyone because of what she's done, even though Janis admitted that she was the mastermind behind all of it.
** This is likely because people already hate Regina, which is what everyone is responding to in her revelation. Since Janis had nothing to do with the Burn Book and didn't have any part in it being revealed to the school at large, that is blamed instead on Cady (who people assume was behind it, since she, Karen and Gretchen are the only ones not in it. But they still hate Regina and it's clear she was involved in the book, too. It's an open secret.) Janis trying to mess with Regina is seen as a much lesser sin because of the way Regina treats everyone else in the school. Regina being humiliated is treated as HER karma, both by the characters and the narrative itself, and that although it was a cruel thing to do she provoked it by treating Janis badly when they were friends and deliberately causing profound damage to her social life and emotional health.
* KissingCousins: At the Halloween party, Karen talks about how hot her cousin is. When confronted, she says, "Yeah, but he's my ''first'' cousin", apparently believing this to be a more distant relation than a "cousin".
* LookBothWays: [[spoiler:Regina]] gets hit by a bus for not doing this. [[spoiler:(She gets better.)]] {{Foreshadowed}} with Cady narrowly missing one on her first day.
** Again at the end, in Cady's IndulgentFantasySegue about the Junior Plastics.
* LuckyTranslation: Karen goes to the Halloween party dressed as a sexy mouse. In the Italian version, when asked what she is dressed as, she answers "Sono una topa." "Topa" means "female mouse," but is also a slang word for female genitalia and a rude compliment to a pretty girl.
* MakeWayForThePrincess: Parodied. Cady stumbles into a trash can while doing this.
* TheMall: Janis works here. Cady also compares the kids hanging out here to the wild animals she grew up with in Africa.
* MarketBasedTitle: Released in Germany as ''Girls Club''.
* MeaningfulName:
** The name "Regina" is Latin for "queen." (Her last name is "George," bringing to mind [[GeorgeWBush a certain President]], or [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_III_of_the_United_Kingdom a certain king]].)
** And in the same vein, it's surely no accident that on many different occasions, a character will mispronounce Cady's name, thinking it's pronounced "catty."
** Janis Ian shares her name with the singer of "At Seventeen," a song about discovering that the "pretty girls" get the love. The real Janis Ian is a lesbian, and was the musical guest on the first episode of ''SaturdayNightLive'', [[ShoutOut the show screenwriter Tina Fey first became famous for]].
*** As an aside, Tina Fey later sang a bit of "At Seventeen" in an episode of ''Series/ThirtyRock''.
* MinionWithAnFInEvil: Karen seems to be remarkably lacking in actual ''meanness'' per se; in nearly all respects she comes across as a [[DumbIsGood good natured ditz]]. In fact, her only real defining characteristic, besides being TheDitz, is that she remains a loyal friend to Gretchen even through Gretchen's VillainousBreakdown.
** Gretchen isn't all that malicious either, just desperately insecure and hungry for attention, which makes her extremely prone to gossip and over dramatize things ("Pusher? Like a ''drug pusher?''"). Makes more sense if you consider that in the original script she was described as ugly.
* MisplacedWildlife: During Cady's party, Aaron sees a picture of Cady back in Africa riding an elephant. An ''Asian'' elephant.
* MustMakeAmends: This is pretty much what the [[ThreeActStructure third act]] of the movie is about.
* MyCard: [[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Kevin Gnapoor: Math Enthusiast[=/=]Badass MC ]]

* MyNaymeIs: It's spelled "Cady," not "Katie."
-->"...Yeah, I'm gonna call you 'Caddy.'"
* NWordPrivileges: Janis claims calling Damian "too gay to function" is only funny when she says it and getting upset over being written in the burn book.
* NaiveNewcomer: Cady.
* {{Nerdcore}}: Kevin's rap.
* NerdsAreSexy: Miss Norbury, Kevin, and Cady. Part of Cady's conflict is that she dumbs herself down to get a cute boy to tutor her.
* NeverLiveItDown: InUniverse - "Made out with a hotdog?! Oh my god, that was one time!"
* NeverSayThatAgain: "Stop trying to make 'fetch' happen!"
* NeverTrustATrailer: Averted for the most part, the trailer generally gives an accurate description of the movie, but it notably switches Janis and Damien's descriptions of Gretchen and Regina.
* NoDressCode: The plastics get away with performing in a school pageant wearing sexy Santa outfits that are closer to lingerie than costumes. Also applies when Regina accidentally starts the trend of wearing shirts with holes cut over the breasts.
* NoSocialSkills: Up until she came to the school, Cady lived in Africa and was home schooled, thus winding up with absolutely no clue about how things worked in "Girl World." Her parents appear to be clueless every time they appear:
-->'''Mom''': Where's Cady?
-->'''Dad''': She went out.
-->'''Mom''': She's ''grounded''.
-->'''Dad''': [[CompletelyMissingThePoint Are they not allowed out when they're grounded?]]
* NotSoDifferent: Though Janis wants revenge on Regina, she's as spiteful and manipulative as she is when it comes to Cady. Janis even admits it, stating that she knows she's as mean as Regina, while Cady pretends that she isn't.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Despite being very good at math, Cady pretends it's hard so that she can spend time studying with Aaron.
* PairTheSpares: Mocked. Janis and Damian kiss at the dance for a second, then quickly separate from each other in disgust.
** But then arguably played straight when [[spoiler:she hooks up with Kevin at the end.]]
* ParentsWalkInAtTheWorstTime:
-->'''[[Creator/AmyPoehler Mrs. George]]:''' You kids need anything? Snack? [[BreadEggsMilkSquick Condom?]] Ah, God love ya!
* PeerPressureMakesYouEvil
* PinkMeansFeminine
* PlayingGertrude: 32-year-old Creator/AmyPoehler playing the mom of Regina, despite being just five years older than Rachel [=McAdams=]. TinaFey even mentions this in one of the [[DVDBonusContent featurettes]]. Justified, in that a) she's Regina's ''step''mother, and was probably picked up as a young trophy wife, and b) it's implied that she has had excessive plastic surgery, her "hard-as-rocks" boob job being just the tip of the iceberg.
* PopularIsDumb: Karen obviously, and arguably Gretchen and Regina who seem somewhat unastute. Regina, despite being able to manipulate most of the female half of the school into becoming her pawns, frequently shows herself to be rather BookDumb.
-->"Is butter a carb?"
** Don't forget that, as a rule of Girl World, you have to dumb yourself down to appeal to boys. It's more than likely that, with the exception of Karen, all the girls are [[ObfuscatingStupidity pretending to be much dumber than they actually are]].
*** Though that wouldn't be the case in Regina's diet; it's clear that she doesn't really understand nutrition at all. While in many cases she may be pretending in order to achieve social power, that seems unlikely when she's actively trying to lose weight and is being fed untrue information to prevent that.
* ThePratfall: Gretchen in the "[[TrustBuildingBlunder circle of trust]]".
* ProfessionalButtKisser: Gretchen. At the end of the film, Gretchen [[spoiler:joins the Cool Asians now that the Plastics have broken up, and attaches herself to Trang Pak the way she did Regina. Her last scene has her brown-nosing in Vietnamese gibberish, with her hair straightened to look more like her Asian friends.]]
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Janis gives Cady one at her party, though Cady does [[ShutUpHannibal fire back]].
* RichInDollarsPoorInSense: Regina in a specific example. She could rattle off several mostly-illegal weight loss drugs (most of which either were expensive before being banned or would be expensive to ship from countries where they're still legal). Yet, she didn't know enough about health and nutrition to know whether or not butter is a carb.
** Possibly just a commentary on how American teenage girls obsess over getting thin the fast and unhealthy way rather than via actual healthy living.
* RunningGag:
** Damian uses one PaperThinDisguise after another (robber, Santa, guy with hoodie and sunglasses), yet nobody except Cady seem to recognize him.
** Cady's "[[DiggingYourselfDeeper word vomit]]." In one scene, [[VomitDiscretionShot it becomes actual vomit]].
** [[spoiler:[[LookBothWays Big yellow school buses.]]]]
** In the original script, the SoundEffectBleep was this, used whenever a character dropped an F-bomb.
** Nobody can pronounce Cady's name correctly.
* SatelliteLoveInterest: Aaron. All we know about him is that he's cute, sucks at math, used to date Regina, and "all he cares about is school and his mom and his friends". He gets fleshed out a little more in the original screenplay, which has a scene with him and Cady where he does the laundry, and explains that he helps out because it's [[DisappearedDad just him and his mom.]]
* SequelHook: Averted. The sequel has no recurring characters aside from Principal Duvall. It might appear that the "Junior Plastics" seen at the end are this, but the sequel focuses on a completely different cast of characters.
* SexySantaDress: The skimpy dresses that the girls wear for a Christmas pageant.
* SexySoakedShirt: How Karen "predicts" when it's going to rain.
* ShoutOut: As noted [[MeaningfulName above]], [[NamedAfterSomebodyFamous Janis Ian is named after the singer of the same name]], who was a musical guest on the first episode of ''SaturdayNightLive'', TinaFey's former show. Ian's hit song "At Seventeen" even plays in a scene.
** One girl apparently masturbated with a hot dog. This might be a reference to a throwaway line in ''Literature/ThePerksOfBeingAWallflower''.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: The two Mathlete teams we see each have a single female member, presumably because of the double-funding incentive Kevin mentions.
* SoBeautifulItsACurse
* SplitScreenPhoneCall: When the Plastics are scheming.
* SpiritualSuccessor: This movie has been called a [[LighterAndSofter PG-13 version]] of ''Film/{{Heathers}}'', and not without justification. Also, the writer of ''Heathers'' and the director of ''Mean Girls'' are brothers.
* StepfordSmiler: Gretchen (the "one small step from a complete nervous breakdown" version, rather than the "empty inside" version).
* {{Stripperiffic}}: Lampshaded at the Halloween party, where Cady comments on how in Girl World, Halloween is the one night of the year a girl can dress like a total slut and no one can say anything. Gretchen wears a cat costume made of [[CatSuit skintight leather]], Karen wears a skimpy, cleavage-revealing teddy (only the ears give it away as a costume - "I'm a mouse. Duh."), while Regina wears a "rabbit" costume that's nothing more than a PlayboyBunny suit. Cady, not knowing this and thinking that Halloween costumes are meant to be scary, wears pale makeup, novelty rubber teeth, and a BloodSplatteredWeddingDress ("an ex-wife").
* SuddenlySober: Cady at her house party.
* SuckOutThePoison: In voice over, Cady claims this is the correct response to being bitten by a snake. It's a metaphor, but she should still know better, with zoologists as parents.
* [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial Suspiciously Specific English Paper]]: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPDt6cMYvoM Oh, Gretchen]].
* SweetAndSourGrapes: Cady on being named the Spring Fling queen.
-->'''Cady:''' Why is everybody stressing over this thing? I mean, [[ItsAllJunk it's just plastic]]. Could really just... [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Share it]].
* TitleDrop: During Janis's TheReasonYouSuckSpeech to Cady, she says "You are a mean girl! [[ThisIsForEmphasisBitch You're a bitch!"]]
* ThereAreTwoKindsOfPeopleInTheWorld: When Janis convinces Cady to partake in her revenge plan, she tells Cady:
-->'''Janis:''' 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.
* TomboyishPonytail
* TooMuchInformation: "Somebody wrote in that book that I'm lying about being a virgin, 'cuz I use super-jumbo tampons, but I can't help if I've got a heavy flow and a wide set vagina!"
* TrustBuildingBlunder: Miss Norbury's trust-fall exercise, involving a girl in a wheelchair wheeling herself backwards off the podium, and Gretchen {{pratfall}}ing after everyone is disgusted by her BackhandedApology.
* TruthTellingSession: Regina escalates the battle to such an extreme level that it can best be described as "going nuclear."
* TwistingTheWords: Regina uses this to undermine people's confidence: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ex51QJfN1d8 "So you agree? You think you're really pretty?"]]
* UncannyValley: InUniverse. Cady finds Mrs. George to fall deep into the Valley, thanks to her plastic surgery. The sight of her fake breasts approaching Cady is met with PsychoStrings, and Cady is clearly unnerved by her lack of reaction to her little chihuahua gnawing on her tit.
* UnlimitedWardrobe: The Plastics ''never'' wear the same outfit twice. Or even one same article of clothing. According to the costume designer of ''Mean Girls'', each Plastic had over 30 costume changes over the course of production, and Lohan had 59(!).
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: The showcasing of Regina's materialistic life points itself to pre-2008 recession, when flaunting immense wealth was in style. Though this helps emphasize how empty and hollow her life truly is.
* VerbalBackspace: Principal Duvall, [[RunningGag repeatedly]].
-->'''Principal Duvall''': I don't care how long it takes. I will keep you here all night.
-->'''Joan the Secretary''': We can't keep them past four
-->'''Principal Duvall''': I will you keep here until four.
* WardrobeWound: In a DeletedScene, Cady tries to give Regina one by having a friend rig her cafeteria table so that it tips and spills food into her lap when she sits down. However, a member of Regina's GirlPosse sits where Regina was supposed to, thus becoming the prank's victim.
* WeightWoe: Regina's "killer bod" is one of the items that comes under attack in Janis' plot. The means? Protein-heavy granola bars that are supposed to help athletes and malnourished children gain weight, passed to Regina as if they're diet bars. Despite Regina's weight gain being a significant plot point, [[HollywoodPudgy the actress' size doesn't change in the slightest.]]
* WildTeenParty
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Regina to Karen, Cady, and (especially) Gretchen. "Frenemies" indeed!
* WomensMysteries: The principal attempts to get the girls talking about about any "[[TemptingFate ladies' problems]]" they might have (referring to disagreements with each other. When the first one he singles out predictably starts going into TooMuchInformation territory he swiftly subs in Miss Norbury, saying "OK, I can't do this."
* YouAreTheNewTrend: Regina. One scene has Janis cutting nipple holes in Regina's shirt in the locker room to try and sabotage her wardrobe. Regina wears the top anyway and the next day, every girl has the exact same nipple holes in her shirt.

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!! The sequel provides examples of the following tropes:

* AnythingThatMoves: Chastity.
* AskAStupidQuestion:
-->'''Mandi''': Yes, Chastity, DirtyDancing. No, down and dirty!
* AvoidTheDreadedGRating: The sole reason this film was not aired on DisneyChannel as an original movie is because of the amount of tacked-on profanity.
** They aired it on Creator/ABCFamily instead.
** And later on E! under their "Movies We Love" banner. . .
* BrokenAesop: The moral of the story seems to be "don't be a follower," but in the end, Abby decides to attend Carnegie-Melon instead of her original goal of NYU just to stick with Jo, who in turn based her college decision solely on it being the school her dead mother went to.
* ChekhovsGun: The paranoid neighbor. Specifically his security cameras.
* EnemyMine: In the climax, Jo's former friends decide they hate Mandi more than they hate her and agree to help her.
* FaceHeelTurn: Jo becomes NotSoDifferent from Mandi over the course of the film. However, she does make a HeelFaceTurn in the end.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: Tyler points out in one scene that Jo is acting a lot like Mandi.
* {{Irony}}: That a girl named Chastity will sleep with AnythingThatMoves.
** Until she learns what her name means that is.
* LamePunReaction: The "Anti-Plastics". Noted as such by Jo in voice-over.
* LighterAndSofter
* ManipulativeBitch
* MsFanservice: Jo Mitchell
* PoliteVillainsRudeHeroes: Mandi and Tyler (see next trope). Only those two however; Mandi's horrible to everyone else.
* [[SiblingRivalry Step Sibling Rivalry]]: Mandi and Tyler, though oddly the dislike comes entirely from his side and Mandi, despite being a bitch to everyone else seems to have some sisterly feeling for him, even declaring him off limits to Chastity and calling his father (her stepfather) "''our'' Dad". He's also the only character she's never directly mean to.
* ShoutOut: Why does it feel like the football game between the Plastics and the Anti-Plastics is an homage to ''TheLongestYard'' (of all things)?
* UnknownRival: Mandi to Abby. Including Abby's family being wealthier than Mandi's, Abby having bigger breasts, Abby parking her car in the best parking spot (the handicapped parking) due to getting injured by Mandi's bullying, and Abby getting a Prada bag that Mandi's been waiting for so long to get.
* WhatTheHellHero: When Abby finds out that Jo accepted money to be her friend, she takes it about as well as one would expect.
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: Badass is frequently used to describe Jo but the only really badass thing she does is drive her vespa into the school.
** I would say that tackling Mandi and holding her down is pretty badass
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