!!The first film:
* AcceptableTargets: The popular girls, hoo boy. Especially blondes.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** A fairly popular belief with fans is that back when Janis and Regina were friends, Janis was the [[AlphaBitch queen bee]] and Regina was the innocent friend (like Cady) who was [[FromNobodyToNightmare slowly evolving]]. Notably when Cady lies and says that there's nothing about Janis in the Burn Book, Janis seems annoyed (perhaps narcissism that the girls aren't even talking about her full stop?) - and at times Janis seems just as bitchy as Regina and is more of a DirtyCoward to boot.
** Regina herself appears to care for the other Plastics in her own twisted way. When Jason is two-timing Gretchen, she gets revenge. She gives Cady a makeover and compliments her appearance. And she seems genuinely hurt when her friends turn against her - especially when she finds out everything Cady did to her. How much of these PetTheDog moments are genuine, or for a cheap narcissistic laugh or [[TakeAThirdOption both]].
%%* CultClassic
* DesignatedHero: Janis. She is just as manipulative as Regina (if not more so), taunts her by revealing her manipulations in front of the entire school (throwing Cady under the bus in the process), [[MoralDissonance and gets cheered for it]]. This, combined with her HollywoodHomely appearance, has only fueled some fans' theories that Janis is herself a [[FallenPrincess former]] AlphaBitch.
* EndingFatigue: The movie really loses steam after the student riot and the following assembly. By the time they get to crowning Cady at the end, you're a lot like Tim Meadows in that you just want it wrapped up already.
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Special mention has to go to Glen Coco. To put this in perspective, he appears on screen for about 4 seconds, the only part of him shown is the back of his head, he does not speak, and we only hear a single line about him:
--> Glen Coco? Four for you Glen Coco! You go Glen Coco!
** According to the special features, the Mathletes were the favorite characters of the cast and crew.
* FountainOfMemes: Karen is the DumbBlonde of the group, and lots of her lines are instantly quotable ("so if you're from Africa, why are you white?") as are her facial expressions.
* GeniusBonus: The whole "We should kill Caesar" speech may just be a history report, but when taken out of context, it sounds like something an actual Roman senator would say about UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar.
* GirlShowGhetto: Subverted. It's still generally considered a "girls' movie," but it's gotten a generous amount of positive word-of-mouth from men who were pleasantly surprised by it.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** Regina's "I couldn't have a lesbian at my party..." took on a whole new (and funny) meaning when Creator/LindsayLohan picked up a girlfriend, and now that Creator/AmandaSeyfried has done [[Film/JennifersBody two]] [[Film/{{Chloe}} movies]] in which her character [[GirlOnGirlIsHot makes out (and in one case, has sex) with another woman]]. For an added bonus, take a look at the list of songs during the credits. One of them is performed by Samantha Ronson, Lohan's on-and-off girlfriend. Cady also sees two girls making out at the Halloween party and looks uncomfortable.
** The fact that the film was toned down to PG-13 after Creator/LindsayLohan was cast, due to her being too "family-friendly" to star in an R-rated film at the time. And that Lindsay Lohan worried that starring in the film as a "mean girl" would hurt her rep.
** Though it also counts as a HarsherInHindsight depending on your view, the movie follows [[Creator/LindsayLohan Cady]] as she falls in with the wrong crowd and goes from a mild-mannered nice girl into a party-happy temperamental bitch. Lohan's constant arrests and trips to rehab afterwards have led to the [[MemeticMutation widespread idea]] that Regina got the last laugh on Cady in the end. [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mean_girls_xl_05--film-A.jpg This shot]] has become surprisingly prophetic.[[note]]Yes, that is Lohan in the garbage bin.[[/note]]
** Before playing Gretchen Wieners, Creator/LaceyChabert was the voice of [[WesternAnimation/TheWildThornberrys Eliza Thornberry]], who traveled around exotic lands with her parents like Cady.
** Neil Flynn, who at the time was best known for his then-current role as the Janitor from ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'', plays a father so clueless and passive as to come off as almost purposely apathetic -- which also very closely describes Mike Heck, Flynn's current role in ''Series/TheMiddle''.
** At the end, [[spoiler:Regina channels her rage into sports, specifically field hockey]]. At the climax of ''Film/RedEye'', Creator/RachelMcAdams's character goes to town on the villain with a hockey stick. Also, the high school photo of Lisa playing hockey in ''Red Eye'' is a screenshot from this movie.
** Daniel Franzese (Damian) [[http://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/2014/04/22/mean-girls-actor-daniel-franzese-comes-out really is too gay to function]].
** The fact that Creator/LindsayLohan was the only actress to go under the knife, in a movie that labels the ''villains'' as "plastic".
** If one watches season 6 of ''Series/PartyOfFive'', Creator/LaceyChabert's character plays a Cady-type character to a Regina type (though this one is more of a LovableAlphaBitch).
** Damian asking Cady to talk about Creator/AshtonKutcher, considering that his name later appeared in Lindsay's infamous list of lovers.
** Let's see... Creator/RachelMcAdams (Regina) and especially Creator/AmandaSeyfried are both still very successful actresses, and Creator/LindsayLohan (Cady) is still famous (or maybe just infamous) due to her presence in the tabloids. As for Creator/LaceyChabert... "And none for Gretchen Wieners, bye!"
** Regina's little sister, seen shaking her ass to trashy pop music at [[TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior way too young an age]], is named Kylie, sharing her name with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kylie_Jenner another rich girl]] who, ten years later, would herself become famous for wearing skimpy clothes and dating rappers at [[JailBait way too young an age]]. The ages even line up: Nicole Crimi, the girl who played little Kylie in ''Mean Girls'', was born in 1996, just one year before Kylie Jenner.
* HollywoodHomely:
** Creator/LizzyCaplan as Janis Ian. Anybody who's seen her in anything else she's done (especially ''Series/TrueBlood'' and ''Series/MastersOfSex'') knows that she is drop-dead gorgeous in real life. In fact, she almost didn't get the part, as the casting director [[AbilityOverAppearance thought she was too pretty at first]]. As such the costume designers deliberately gave her an alternative/goth type look, rather than trying to dress her down. Caplan's beauty is probably a contributing factor to the theory that Janis is a former Queen Bee.
** Averted with Gretchen, who was originally written as a much homelier character who was only popular because she was rich. This was changed when Creator/LaceyChabert was cast in the role, and while the occasional line to this effect still shows up, it can easily be written off more as cattiness than her actually being viewed as unattractive.
* HollywoodPudgy: Regina's weight gain is almost entirely informed. Wardrobe allegedly stuffed Creator/RachelMcAdams's sweatpants and gave her an oversized hoodie to give her the appearance of having gained weight... but her upper half is swimming in the hoodie, and the pants only appear to be a trifle snug.
* LGBTFanbase: Ridiculously popular among both gay men and women, and is something of a modern faux-camp classic.
* MagnificentBitch:
** Janis Ian's plan is to slowly ruin Regina's life by bringing her down one piece at a time. Get rid of her boyfriend, trick her into gaining weight and turn her friends against her. All banking on the fact that Regina's [[SmugSnake ego]] wouldn't [[RefugeInAudacity believe in someone doing that to her]].
** Regina too, once she finds out about the scheme. She puts herself in the Burn Book, frames the other girls for it and then releases the contents all over the school - effectively causing a riot.
* MemeticBadass:
** He doesn't get any lines, but he still gets a lot of play on the internet, "Four for you Glen Coco! You go Glen Coco!"
** Also Regina George for the "How do I begin to explain Regina George?" meme, which makes her something of an in-universe example.
* MemeticMutation: On Website/{{Facebook}} and Website/{{Tumblr}} (''especially'' Tumblr), there is not a single line from this movie that is not memetastic. Seriously, it's too many to count. [[Memes/MeanGirls So we made a page for it.]]
* MisaimedFandom: Oddly, this movie seems to be most popular with the same kinds of people that it mercilessly makes fun of.
* {{Narm}}: Janis's TitleDrop "You're a mean girl!" can come off as this, considering most of her vocabulary is composed of nothing but profanity.
* OlderThanTheyThink: The often quoted line "It's like you've got ESPN or something" is a [[{{Malaproper}} malapropism]] probably almost as old as the channel itself.
* NightmareFuel:
** There are young boys being raised to believe that gay people should be hunted with Remington bolt action rifles.
** We notice how a silly rumor based on an offhand comment got Ms. Norbury into serious legal trouble. Thankfully averted when Cady owns up to the rumor, but imagine how this suspicion of drug dealing would have utterly ruined a teacher's career and life.
** Regina's mom is apparently just fine with giving under-18 year old teenagers alcohol, if they ask her for it. Considering how alcohol consumption has amplified effects on minors...
* PeripheryDemographic:
** This movie is popular with a lot of guys, particularly those who had a thing for Lohan back in the day and are nostalgic for her pre-trainwreck career or are fans of [=McAdams=], Seyfried or Chabert and are curious about their early careers. Also heavily related to TestosteroneBrigade listed below.
** People that work with teenage girls, such as middle/high school faculty, find this movie very comical and a little too close to home.
** And even a few SNL aficionados by way of Creator/TinaFey. ''Still'' very much related to Testosterone Brigade in this case.
* PopularityPolynomial: ''Mean Girls'' was moderately successful when it first came out before fading into obscurity. Its popularity suddenly exploded in TheNewTens into [[MemeticMutation one of the most quoted movies ever]].
* RetroactiveRecognition: The jock Shane Oman is played by Diego Klattenhoff, who currently has a main cast role as FBI Agent Donald Ressler in ''Series/TheBlacklist''.
* TestosteroneBrigade: While written by [[Creator/TinaFey a woman]] and marketed heavily to teen girls, it was released at the height of Creator/LindsayLohan's [[HollywoodHypeMachine "it girl"]] popularity, and features Lohan and a number of other young women in provocative dress throughout. Lots of men went to see it for the hot high school chicks. Creator/BellaThorne, when promoting ''Film/TheDuff'' on Creator/TheBBC's Radio 1, invoked this when trying to persuade the DJ's producer (a man) to see ''Mean Girls''[[note]]That's right, she was promoting a different movie - luckily Paramount and CBS Films, which made ''The DUFF'', are part of the same corporate family[[/note]], pointing out its brilliance and adding "Plus it's [[Creator/LindsayLohan got]] [[Creator/RachelMcAdams four]] [[Creator/LaceyChabert hot]] [[Creator/AmandaSeyfried girls]]."
* UnbuiltTrope: The movie predates the 'elite high school girls' subgenre of teen fiction - such as ''Literature/TheClique'', ''Series/PrettyLittleLiars'' and ''Series/GossipGirl'' - all of which were clearly inspired by it. But the movie deconstructs the GirlPosse by showing the bitchy backstabbing as shallow and pointless - in such a fashion that it almost looks like a response to those works.
* ValuesDissonance:
** The line where Regina's mother says Cady can have alcohol in the house is meant to be another example of how under Regina's thumb she is. In Europe, particularly the UK and Ireland, underage drinking is not quite as big a deal. Several parents allow their teenagers to have little amounts of alcohol at home - so as not to have them going mad when out with friends.
** Janis's reputation was destroyed by Regina claiming she was a lesbian. This reflects the attitudes towards gays in the early 2000s, where being MistakenForGay could make someone an outcast. Such a thing wouldn't fly in TheNewTens, when acceptance of gays became more mainstream.

!!The sequel:
* FirstInstallmentWins: Fans of the original generally consider the sequel to be unnecessary and inferior to its predecessor.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: It's mentioned Tyler goes to Penn State in the epilogue. It's not the best school after the Sandusky scandal.
* InformedWrongness: What Jo did to Hope is pretty bad, but her tattling on Chastity for making out on school property is treated the same, even it is against school rules.
* ReplacementScrappy: Obviously, Mandi is no Regina George.
* {{Sequelitis}}: Apart from the element of Jo creating a group of Anti-Plastics and the climactic football game, the film is pretty much a remake of the first film, without the laughs. Also Jo's friends turning against her is extremely forced. Creator/TinaFey repeatedly turned down offers to make the sequel. Now that the sequel was done without her, she regrets turning down the offer.
* UnintentionallySympathetic: Mandi's step-brother is ''really'' callous towards her. It's not exactly undeserved but since she seems to like him, Taylor can come across as a bit of a jerk and arguably even as a contributing factor to Mandi's bitchiness.
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