Film: John Tucker Must Die
From L to R: Kate, Beth, John, Carrie and HeatherJohn Tucker Must Die
is a 2006 comedy film starring Brittany Snow
and Jesse Metcalf. It was directed by Betty Thomas.
, Heather, a vegan human rights activist
, Beth, and the student body president
type, Carrie, team up to bring down the guy that dated them all at once and then broke their hearts
. Kate, a new girl
at the school, has never dated a John Tucker but gives the trio advice based on her mother's love life. Together they hatch a plan to break John's heart the same way he broke theirs, using inexperienced Kate as the fake dater.
As the girls are molding Kate into everything she needs to be to win John, she's caught the eye of the "other Tucker," John's little brother. The first couple of schemes, from giving John estrogen pills to make him more emotionally sensitive and implying he has herpes through sex ed ads, do not work to ruin his reputation as a ladies man. As he gets closer to Kate he starts to fall hard and that's when she decides she bit off more than she can chew. When John's birthday rolls around everything comes out into the open and Kate has to stop pretending to be something she's not.
This movie provides examples of:
- The Ace: John
- All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Heather. Kate later joins the cheer leading squad in order to get John's attention.
- Alpha Bitch: Heather, a bit downplayed, but for sure she has some traits. Also Kate, but she gets better. However, Beth and Carrie are nearly as bad, in spite of occupying roles that would normally be more sympathetic.
- An Aesop: Be Yourself. Kate had to learn this.
- And Then What?: Kate's question to the girls.
- Anti-Hero: Kate is the film's protagonist, but her goal is to humiliate John by manipulating his emotions.
- Even accounting for their (pretty legitimate) Woman Scorned feelings Beth, Carrie and Heather come across as rather unlikable. Heather is the worst, smugly throwing a luckless cheerleader off her team to further the plan, but even the other two come across as patronising and insensitive towards Kate.
- Anti-Villain: John turns out to be this (Type III).
- Armor-Piercing Slap: John gets three of these from Beth, Heather, and Carrie after he dumps all of them.
- Bare Your Midriff: Heather
- Becoming the Mask: Predictably, Kate ends up falling for John while pretending to date him in order to set him up to be humiliated.
- Sort of. She grows to like him, particularly after she gets a glimpse of understanding as to why he did it, but it seemed mostly platonic, particularly seeing as she wanted his brother more.
- Be Yourself: The whole moral of the movie.
- Big Fun: The kids see John's Black Best Friend Tommy as this.
- Big Man on Campus: People see John as this.
- Billing Displacement: The four girls are given pretty equal credit when Kate has a much larger role. Plus Scott, the other Tucker, isn't given any billing and he has a pretty large part.
- Actually, according to IMDb, it "stars: Jesse Metcalfe, Ashanti, Arielle Kebbel, Sophia Bush". That's the end of the list. The heroine not even mentioned.
- Probably having to do with the fact that at the time, Penn Badgley was a relative unknown
- Black Best Friend: Tommy, John's best friend.
- Break the Haughty: What the girls try to do to John.
- Butt Monkey: John is this throughout the film, because of how the girls try to get revenge on him.
- Character Development: John in the end. Sort of. He starts telling the truth, but he still dates more girls.
- The Cheerleader: Heather isn't as outright evil as some movie cheerleaders but she's still pretty bitchy and shallow.
- Cool Loser: Kate and Scott.
- Corrupt the Cutie: Kate slowly turns from the shy sweet new girl into an Alpha Bitch due to the influence of the other three.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Kate changes her mind about humiliating John, but the other girls play the pre-recorded "I'm Dumping You" video anyway. Defying genre convention, he doesn't take Kate back afterward.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Beth comments on Lori's hotness.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: How some people view Carrie. Kate becomes this in the climax of the film.
- The Everyman: Scott, the other Tucker.
- Four Girl Ensemble: Kate, the naive one; Carrie, the smart one; Heather, the sexy one; and Beth, the motherly-ish one.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Beth teaches Kate how to kiss. Although it wasn't pointless it was clearly for titillation. An then we have the appropriate reaction of a dorkish guy:
Kiss her again!
- Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: John Tucker's actions are a clear example of bad adultery given the highly elaborate efforts he made to keep his girlfriends from finding out about each other, and it's likely the entire revenge plot could have been avoided had he simply told them they weren't dating exclusively. At the end he's shown introducing his new girlfriends to each other and making it clear he's going to date them concurrently, showing he learned his lesson.
- Good Parents: Kate's single mother is a good mother towards her, offering her advice for everything.
- Granola Girl: Beth.
- Hollywood Nerd: Carrie
- Jerk Jock: John definitely qualifies; he's the obnoxious star of the basketball team.
- Jerkass Fašade: John presents his relationship with Kate in very crude terms when he's talking to his friends so they won't know he really likes her.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Heather ends up as this in the middle to the end of the movie.
- Karma Houdini: Everyone. Seriously. All the girls get away with torturing John all year, and John gets away with being the school slut all year all with one little apology. Then they all forgive each other and have a wacky food fight.
- Ladykiller in Love: John is either this, or Not Good with Rejection.
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Lori
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: Heather becomes this at the end.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: A Zig Zagged Trope. John Really Gets Around, but ends up becoming Lady Killer In Love. In the end, John tries to dismantle this trope and say what's wrong with this trope. None of the guys listen, and instead praise him for getting laid so much.
- Kate gets John to put on ladies' underwear by implying it's a common practice during sex, giggling about how he's "so inexperienced".
- Marry Them All: John Tucker at the end of the film.
- Ms. Vice Gal: Heather has traits like pride and vanity, but she's still a good person and a sympathetic character.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The girls' attempts to publicly humiliate John.
- Obliviously Evil: Everyone turns out to be this.
- Practice Kiss: Two of the titular character's girlfriends practice kissing together after Kate admits the she has never kissed anyone.
- Really Gets Around: Beth is rumored to do so.
- John and Lori also fit this.
- Revenge: What the girls try to do to John by breaking his heart.
- Sassy Black Woman: Heather
- School Newspaper News Hound: Carrie works on one.
- Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Scott.
- Stacy's Mom: Kate's mother is seen as attractive by guys around Kate's age and Beth.
- Wham Line: "Will you be my girlfriend?"
- What the Hell, Hero?: Kate gets this speech from Scott because of how she turned out to be an Alpha Bitch.
- Wisdom from the Gutter: Kate's mother, who always fails in her own love life, provides epiphany for Kate.
- With Friends Like These...: It does stretch belief a little that Kate would stay close pals with Beth, Carrie and Heather after everything.
- With Us or Against Us: As if to illustrate the above, the girls temporarily shun Kate from the group because she doesn't hate John enough.
- Woman Scorned: Three actually.
- You Are the New Trend: After an elaborate plan to humiliate John backfires (long story), every guy in the school starts to wear visible frilly thongs without any qualms. Even old men.