A journey soon begins, its prize reflected in another's eyes. When what you see is what you lack, then selfless love will change you back.
-The magic cookie's fortune
This Disney remake of their 1976 comedy Freaky Friday stars Lindsay Lohannote In her first theatrical movie role since the 1998 version of The Parent Trap as an aspiring teenage guitarist, Anna, who does not get along with her mother, widowed psychologist Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis), to say the least. The day before Tess is supposed to remarry, she and Anna switch bodies after a Chinese restaurant owner's mother hands them some magic fortune cookies. Hilarity Ensues, including the now-young mother lusting after her daughter's crush (Chad Michael Murray), and the now-old daughter trying to cluelessly deal with psychiatric duties. It eventually transpires that they switched bodies in order to learn An Aesop about the value of family and friendship. Also has Mark Harmon in it, as Tess' fiance, Ryan.
All Girls Want Bad Boys: Tess' assumption when she learns Anna has a crush on Jake, an older student she knows nothing about other than the fact he often visits her in detention and rides a motorcycle. However, Tess later learns that Jake's not really a bad boy; he works two jobs and helps Tess-in-Anna's-body finish a test she couldn't complete after getting detention.
All There in the Script: Maddie is the only member of the band besides Anna herself to be named onscreen. The others are Peg (the other female guitarist), Ethan (drummer), and Scott (bassist).
Almost Kiss: Anna in Tess' body invokes this whenever Ryan tries to kiss her.
Annoying Younger Sibling: Harry to Anna, very much so. But when Anna as Tess goes to Harry's parent-teacher conference, she finds out that he actually admires and looks up to her a great deal—but he doesn't want her to know, since he has too much fun fighting with her.
Artistic Title: After a Logo Joke in which the Walt Disney Pictures logo fades into parchment, the opening credits briefly resemble an old photo album.
Cassandra Truth: At first, Tess doesn't believe that Anna's teacher, Tess's former childhood friend, has it in for Anna - until she finds out for herself, while in Anna's body.
The Cast Showoff: It's easy to assume that Annabel/Anna changed from a girl who plays sports to a girl who plays rock music just so Lindsay Lohan could perform two new songs (one at an audition at the House of Blues, and one during Tess' and Ryan's wedding reception).
Dresses the Same: Anna and another girl accidentally wear the same shirt to school. Anna turns her shirt inside-out to avoid looking the same and looks...well, actually, stupider than if she had just left the shirt as it was.
Girl Posse: Both Anna and Stacy have one, but Anna's (Maddie and Peg) only appear in a handful of scenes and Stacy's only appear once when they flip Tess over a bicycle rack and have no dialogue.
Stacy's posse actually did have another scene that was deleted, when Tess (in her daughter's body), punches her right in the nose. They still have no lines and aren't even credited or given names.
Growing Up Sucks: Anna initially assumes that adulthood has way fewer problems than high school. She learns otherwise after the switch. Tess also learns that High School for Anna is not as easy as Tess remembers it either.
Guilty Pleasures: Occurs in-universe: Anna (in Tess' body) and Jake agree that "...Baby One More Time" is one of these.
Here We Go Again: Subverted when the Chinese restaurant owner stops Anna's brother and grandfather from opening the fortune cookies her mother gave them at Tess' and Ryan's wedding reception.
Ironic Echo: Played for Laughs. When Tess removes Anna's bedroom door, she says condescendingly, "Privacy is a privilege, Anna." Later, when Anna and Tess have switched bodies, Tess enters Anna's room to avoid suspicion only to find no door. Cue Anna (in Tess's body) with a snarky, "Privacy is a privilege, Anna!"
Karma Houdini: Stacy gets away scot-free with framing Anna for cheating during the exam, unless Tess erasing and replacing Stacy's answers with "I'm stupid!" counts. She is never seen or mentioned afterwards nor does she appear during the wedding scene at the end. There was originally a scene where Tess took more direct vengeance by confronting Stacy and her posse after the exams and slugging her hard in the face, breaking her nose. It never made it into the final cut.
Nice Guy: Ryan, the man to whom Tess is getting married. He's friendly, likable, handsome (it is Mark Harmon), and - as we eventually discover - actually very interested in being a good stepfather to Anna and Harry. He just wants it to be on their terms, so he doesn't try to push them into liking him.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Tess, while in Anna's body, calls out the jerkass English teacher in front of the class. She has discovered the reason he's so evil towards Anna is because he is the same guy Tess declined going to the School Prom with, so she commands him to let the past go.
Refuge in Audacity: At one point, Anna in Tess' body has to go on a talk show and discuss one of Tess' books. Having never read the book, Anna instead resorts to promoting immature behavior among the adult viewers.
Remake Cameo: Marc McClure, Jodie Foster's love interest in the 1976 movie, plays a mailman in this film. Averted by Foster herself, who was asked to play Anna's mother and turned the role down.
Rule of Cool: The earthquakes that occur once the body-switching spell is cast and later reversed. (The second earthquake is even larger than the first.)
Sadist Teacher: Due to a petty grudge against Anna's mother, her English teacher is like this. While in Anna's body, Tess gives a very intelligent answer to a question, and he still says she's wrong. And earlier in the film, he claimed Anna didn't understand 1984. Her response demonstrates she did and he quickly puts her in detention for a sly remark she makes.
Split Screen: As the mother and daughter activate the body-switching spell from two different places. This version tries to justify the split: Anna reads her fortune from inside a bathroom, while Tess reads hers from outside the door. The wall dividing the rooms also divides the screen.
Stock Phrase: Tess asks Anna not to give any of her patients advice, and instead do nothing but pretend to take notes and occasionally ask the patient, "And how do you feel about that?"
What the Hell, Hero?: Jake expresses disgust at Tess' erasing the answers on Stacy's scantron, as revenge for something mean Stacy tried to do to Anna.