[[caption-width-right:350:1989 film cast. From the back left: Annelle, Ouiser, Clairee, Shelby, Truvy and M'Lynn]]

''Steel Magnolias'' is a [[TheEighties 1989]] {{Dramedy}} film starring Creator/SallyField, Creator/ShirleyMacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Music/DollyParton, Creator/DarylHannah, and Creator/JuliaRoberts. It is adapted from the 1987 off-Broadway play of the same name by Robert Harling. A 2012 made for television remake with an all African American cast was made by Creator/{{Lifetime}}.

The story revolves around the lives of the employees and patrons of Truvy's Beauty Parlor in Louisiana. The place is run by Truvy Jones (Parton) who has recently hired shy Annelle Dupuy (Hannah). Among the regular customers (and friends of Truvy's) are Ouiser Boudreaux (Mclane), a rich cranky widow; Clairee Belcher (Dukakis) who is also a widow and enjoys taking cracks at the grumpy Ouiser; M'Lynn Eatenton (Field) and her soon to be married daughter Shelby (Roberts). Shelby has a form of diabetes which has weakened her body. Despite this, she is considering having a child once she is married. M'Lynn struggles with letting her daughter living her own life and trying to prevent her from causing more damage to her body.
!!This film provides examples of:
* AdaptationInducedPlotHole: In the film version, Jackson and Drummond are watching over Shelby when the plug is pulled. However, the dialog is true to the play, and M'Lynn claims that they couldn't handle it and left. It's a key plot hole because M'Lynn states that men are supposed to be made of steel, but weren't.
** However, both Jackson and Drummond leave just prior to Shelby actually slipping away. M'Lynn was the only one beside her daughter when she died.
* BabiesEverAfter[=/=]BirthDeathJuxtaposition: Annelle announces her pregnancy after Shelby's funeral and goes into labor as the film ends.
* BeautyInversion: The producers told Daryl Hannah they weren't sure she could play Annelle, saying she was too attractive. She showed up for her audition looking as frumpy as she could, and the security guard wouldn't let her in because he didn't recognize her.
* BlasphemousBoast: Ouiser tells Shelby that "The only reason people are nice to me is because I have more money than God."
* BrokenBird: Annelle at the beginning is very emotional and shy, and clearly still reeling from her husband abandoning her.
* ChattyHairdresser: Truvy.
* ConverseWithTheUnconscious: M'Lynn talks to her daughter trying to get her to wake up from her diabetic coma. [[spoiler: She ultimately dies]].
* CovertPervert: Ouiser steals glances at the young high school flesh through her mirror.
* DeadGuyJunior: After Shelby's funeral, Annelle announces her pregnancy to the other ladies and tells M'Lynn that the baby will be named after Shelby, out of thanks for inviting her to the wedding where she met her husband.
* DeadpanSnarker: M'Lynn.
-->'''Clairee:''' It looks like you've been driving nails into your arms. What's going on here?
-->'''Shelby:''' Shall we tell them, Mama?
-->'''M'Lynn:''' I guess so. No point in keeping it a secret any longer. ''({{beat}})'' Shelby's been driving nails into her arms.
** Truvy:
-->"Nicest thing I can say about her is, all of her tattoos are spelled correctly."
** Ouiser:
-->"He's a real gentleman. I bet he takes the dishes out of the sink before he pees in it."
** After Annelle gets off a good snap at Ouiser, Clairee approves, "Very good, Annelle! Spoken like a true smart-ass!"
* FanserviceExtra: Multiple male examples. The "colour announcer" scene... which just happened to be in a sports team's changing room, and thus meant the appearance of several naked men.
* FashionHurts: Truvy has this to say about shoes: "In a good shoe, I wear a size six, but a seven feels so good, I buy a size eight." Meaning she's a size eight but will squeeze down to a six for the right shoe.
* HappyHolidaysDress: The "Miss Merry Christmas" wears a long, red dress with a [[PrettyInMink white faux fur neckline and muff]].
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Clairee and Ouiser, paired with VitriolicBestBuds, given the way they're always sniping at each other.
* IKnewIt: [[invoked]] Annelle's reaction to Ouiser admitting she prays. Ouiser doesn't react well to her gloat.
* JerkassRealization: The normally short-tempered and sarcastic Ouiser makes a snide comment about how the sooner her body breaks down and she dies, the better. Then, she finds out Shelby's body really ''is'' breaking down, and she obviously feels terrible, and apologizes to Shelby.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Ouiser is rude, hotheaded, sarcastic and acts like she's SurroundedByIdiots. However, when push comes to shove, she really does care deeply for the other five, and every now and then, she even acts like it. Lampshaded by a conversation after Ouiser makes a particularly badly-timed snide remark.
-->'''Ouiser:''' I'm sorry, Shelby. You know better than to listen to anything I say.\\
'''Shelby:''' Oh, Miss Ousier, don't even worry about it.\\
'''Ouiser:''' ...I'm a terrible person...\\
'''Clairee:''' Oh, you are not, Ousier. You'd give that dog of yours a kidney if he needed one.
* MisplacedNamesPoster: [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/32/Steel_magnolias_poster.jpg Six names, none of which are over the person to which they belong.]]
* MoodWhiplash: M'Lynn shouting at her daughter's funeral is turned comedic when Clairee says that M'Lynn should hit Ouiser to feel better.
-->'''Clairee:''' M'Lynn, you just missed the chance of a lifetime! Half of Chiquapin Parish'd give their eye teeth to take a whack at Ouiser!
* NewOldFlame: Ouiser's ex, Owen. "He was a good man. But I managed to run him off and marry one of two total deadbeats." Shelby ends up going to the same church as him, and makes it her mission to get him and Ousier together.
* ParentalSubstitute: Truvy to Annelle, to the point where she refers to her as her "semi-daughter."
* PetTheDog: There are times when Ousier shows she has a heart -- her adoration of her dog, Rhett, for instance, and her genuine sympathy towards Annelle when she finds out Annelle's husband abandoned her. She also is very happy for Shelby when she has her baby, and grieves with the other when Shelby passes away.
* PinkMeansFeminine:
-->'''Shelby:''' Pink is my signature color.
** InsistentTerminology:
--->'''Shelby:''' My colors are "blush" and "bashful."
--->'''M'Lynn:''' Her colors are "pink" and pink."
--->'''Shelby:''' My colors are "blush" and "bashful" Mama!
* PitbullDatesPuppy: Owen and Ouiser. He doesn't seem to mind, though.
** It's strongly hinted that Ouiser is softer while dating Owen offscreen.
* PlayingGertrude: 42 year old (and looking much younger) Queen Latifah, who plays M'Lynn in the remake, is only 17 years older than Condola Rashad, who played Shelby, forcing viewers to essentially assume that she was a teen mom.
* PleaseWakeUp: A prolonged version of this occurs when M'Lynn Eatonton is trying to rouse Shelby when she's in the hospital after her final diabetic episode. [[spoiler:Not long after, she's taken off life support]].
* RaceLift: The remake
* SliceOfLife: A lot of scenes are basically this, fitting a theme directly mentioned near the end, that "Life goes on".
* TearfulSmile: "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion."
* VitriolicBestBuds: Ouiser with the other five, especially Clairee. She snarks at them and they all snark right back, but it's clear that they do genuinely consider her a friend. And in Ousier's own words...
-->'''Ouiser:''' You may not believe it, but these are the dearest friends I have in this town.
* WorldOfSnark: ''Everyone'' is a DeadpanSnarker in this movie.