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Film / Bring It On

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Bring It On is a Troperiffic film franchise, currently containing six installments. Only the first was released as a theatrical film, the other five were released Direct to Video.

This franchise is mainly about one cheerleading squad squaring off against another, both taking it way too seriously.

Though it is a series, each sequel is more In Name Only, rather than a real sequel. There are few recurring elements besides cheerleading competitions where hilarity usually ensues throughout the attitude-filled drama. No two movies contain the same characters or locations.

A major theme in the series is ethnicity and race. The writers/producers view race as very important, whereas the characters are nonchalant about it (except maybe the villain used as an outlet for the writers to express latent racism).

More mildly the casting of cheerleaders as the heroes is itself oddly subversive (and refreshing) given the nearly universal negative depiction of cheerleading in other High School Movies. The films are not beyond a little ribbing at the sport but are clearly sympathetic.

Not to be confused with the trope named "Bring It".

Brief synopses for each movie in the series:

Bring It On (2000)

The upper-class Toros cheerleading squad from Rancho Carne High School in San Diego has got spirit, spunk, sass, a token Asian, and a killer routine that's sure to land them the national championship trophy for the sixth year in a row. But for newly-elected team captain Torrance, the Toros' road to total cheer glory takes a shady turn when she discovers that the Toros' former cheer captain had STOLEN the perfectly-choreographed routines from the ghetto-fabulous Clovers, a hip-hop squad from East Compton, who are black. While the Toros scramble to come up with a new routine, the Clovers, led by squad captain Isis, have their own problems — coming up with enough money to cover their travel expenses to the championships. With time running out and the pressure mounting, both captains drive their squads to the point of exhaustion: Torrance, hell-bent on saving the Toros' reputation, and Isis, more determined than ever to see that the Clovers finally get the recognition that they deserve! Who will survive and what will be left of them? This installment is commonly thought to be the best for its refusal to name one squad as evil, and for an ending that deliberately does not fit the time-worn mold for the genre. As a theatrical production, it also had a higher budget than the others. It's currently considered a bit of a teen girls' classic chick flick and is standard sleepover/girls' night fare. Starred Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Gabrielle Union and an immediately pre-Buffy the Vampire Slayer Clare Kramer.

Jan: Hey, ladies, wanna see my spirit stick?

Bring It On Again (2004)

Torrance is played by another actress, so she changes her name to another town in SoCal called Whittier. Whittier tries out for and joins her new college cheerleading squad to relive her high school glory days as head cheerleader. But when she and her best friend Isis — I mean Monica — are unable to stand being around the tyrannical and snobbish squad captain who's known as The Bomb Diggity. Whittier and Monica quit and vow to form their own cheerleading squad made up of college campus misfits and social outcasts for a competition to see which squad will represent the college for the national cheerleader championship and be lead by the new Bomb Diggity! Best known for being a blatant rip-off of the book Sweet Valley High #113: The Pom Pom Wars. This is also notable as the only film of the series to star nobody anyone's actually heard of (with all due respect to Bethany Joy Lenz... and, y'know... Felicia Day...).

Whittier: Don't be all up in my Kool-Aid!

Bring It On: All or Nothing (2006)

Britney Allen (Hayden Panettiere, playing a cheerleader for the first but not the last time) is living the cheerleader's dream. At the elite (meaning that there is only one non-white student, and that student knows martial arts because she's Asian) seaside campus of Pacific Vista High School, Britney is captain of the cheerleading squad and the envy of everyone at school — especially one overly-ambitious teammate. When Britney hears about a forthcoming audition for a top cheer squad to appear in Rihanna's upcoming television special, she is determined that her Pirates cheer squad will capture the coveted spot. But Britney's life turns catastrophic when her father's job takes her family to Crenshaw Heights, a working-class neighborhood east of Los Angeles. At her new school, Britney is viewed with suspicion by most of the students, especially by Camille (Solange Knowles), the overly confident and acerbic black leader of the Crenshaw Heights Warriors cheerleading squad. No one is more surprised than Camille, however, when "white girl" Britney proves herself and secures a spot on the Warriors' cheer squad. Britney and her new teammates work feverishly to prepare the audition for Rihanna, incorporating some edgy new moves into their performance. Now the pressure is on, as the Warriors find themselves locked in a high-stakes cheer-off with Pacific Vista, Britney's old school! During the no-holds-barred fight to the finish, friendships, loyalties and talents are tested — but only one team can come out on top! This installment is renowned for being the most similar to Mean Girls. This entry is also notable for having two former Lizzie Spauldings in the cast (Hayden Panettiere and Marcy Rylan).

Jesse: Dude, I could kick the dude outta you!

Bring It On: In It to Win It (2007)

Southern California high school senior Carson (Ashley Benson) arrives at the all-important "Cheer Camp Nationals" determined to lead her squad, the West High Sharks, to victory. But chic New Yorker Brooke and her team, the East High Jets, are equally steadfast in their pursuit of the competition's coveted "Spirit Stick". As tension mounts between the two rival squads, Carson falls for fellow cheerleader Penn, not realizing he's a Jet. When Brooke discovers the budding romance, she raises the stakes by challenging Carson to a one-on-one cheer-off. A spectacular, West Side Story-type "cheer fighting" sequence turns uglier than expected and cheerleaders on both sides are wounded and unable to compete! Basically, Romeo and Juliet with cheercrips and cheerbloods! This installment is known for incorporating more portmanteau cheerwords than any of the previous Bring It On movies (and that includes Not Another Teen Movie).

Sarah: This is a cheer-saster!
Ruben: A cheer-tastrophe!
Chelsea: A total cheer-clipse of the sun!
Sarah: Not bad.
Ruben: Good one.

Bring It On: Fight to the Finish (2009)

Same-old, same-old, except for once the primary character isn't white. Singer/actress Christina Milian stars as sassy Cuban-American cheer captain Lina Cruz, whose world is turned upside-down when her family moves from the urban streets of East Los Angeles to the sunny suburban beach town of Malibu. At her new school, Lina clashes with bitchy Avery, the ultra-competitive all-star cheer captain. And Avery is racist against Lina and Kayla. Avery takes a special dislike to Lina for being a potentially dethroning cheerleader as well as race-mixing with Avery's super-cute brother Evan, who has an affinity for quirky hats. Lina's always been able to rise to the challenge, but can she create an all-star squad, beat Avery at the Spirit Championships and still keep her romance with Evan? This is notable as the only film in the series other than the original to have a soundtrack album released (and the only one to have any instrumental score cues included)... well, that's something.

Avery: They're illegal cheer-migrants.

Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmack (2017)

A Bring It On for the social media generation. Cheer captain Destiny and her champion team the Rebels are called out by a mysterious team called The Truth (a nod to Anonymous) which leads to the team being challenged by other teams all over the world. Vain, egotistical Destiny, who values her online presence and the number of internet followers she has over anything else, can't stand the humiliation brought on by The Truth so she sets out to prove she's still the best. She starts out by recruiting a group of male street dancers that she conveniently meets after her first encounter with The Truth. Destiny's ego and her refusal to infuse anything new to her routines eventually lead to a clash with her best friend Willow. Can Destiny overcome her selfishness to win back her best friend, hook-up with cute male dancer/photographer Blake, and win the respect of cheerleaders all over the world? Vivica A. Fox co-stars as an internet celebrity called Cheer Goddess.

Destiny: Why can't I go back to my perfect cheer-lebrity existence when everything was about me?!

Bring It On: Cheer or Die (2022)

Just when you thought that the Bring It On films had nowhere new to go, Universal (via their Universal 1440 label) reimagines the franchise but this time with a horror/slasher twist. The Diablos cheer squad, led by Abby (Kerri Medders) and McKayla (Tiera Skovbye), decide to spend Halloween holding an unsanctioned cheer practice at an abandoned school after their principial (Missi Pyle) warns them against using dangerous stunts in their routines. Unfortunately for the squad, a serial killer has taken over the school and is picking the team off one-by-one. This is the first film in the series to have a female director, Karen Lam, working from a story by Alyson Fouse (who wrote the previous four Bring It On films). The film was given a home video and digital release on September 27, 2022 before premiering on Syfy on October 8, 2022.

Bring the Tropes!:

  • Academic Athlete: Darcy, a minor character in the first movie, boasts of having a high SAT score (a deleted scene shows her teaching herself to remember the bigger words through a cheer).
  • Adults Are Useless: Subverted. All of the high school cheerleading squads are shown to be autonomous, but they're composed of members who are all either nearly adults or legally adults by the end of the films in which they appear.
  • All Just a Dream: Every movie begins with the main character suffering a humiliating cheer-incident and then waking up to realize that it was a dream. Worldwide #Cheersmack breaks the tradition by having the humiliation at the beginning turn out to be real but lampshades it by having Destiny wish that it was all a dream. Eventually, Destiny does have a cheer-related nightmare later in the film.
  • Artistic License – Sports:
    • The outfits are too revealing for high school cheer and the movie features cheer routines that are banned at high school level due to safety. This is eventually addressed in All or Nothing where a captain defends her use of an illegal move since the competition is a non-sanctioned music video contest.
    • Missy's audition features the line, "Your school has no gymnastics team; this is a last resort." Except, as even the most casual USA gym fan can tell you, competitive gymnastics is coordinated almost exclusively through USAG, the sport's governing body, not schools. Those who do compete for a school's gymnastics team will, almost without exception, compete primarily for their gym, with the school team a nice side bonus. All of which means that, had Missy been even remotely competitive, Rancho Carne's lack of a gymnastics team would have been no hindrance at all to her gymnastics career.note 
  • Aerith and Bob: The Shipman siblings from the first movie are named Justin and Torrance.
  • An Aesop:
    • The first movie, in particular, "It doesn't matter if you win or lose, but how you play the game."
    • Also, from the first movie: Invent your own routines instead of stealing others'.
  • All-Cheering All the Time: A deleted scene from the original movie showed one character revising for the SATs by converting the answers into cheers to make them easier for her to memorise.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Most notably Cliff from the first movie, but a lot of men across the franchise. This is the reasoning behind the bikini car wash as a fundraising effort in the first movie.
  • Alpha Bitch: Winnie, the entire movie in All or Nothing. Ditto for Avery in the fifth movie. Played with Courtney and Whitney in the first movie.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Missy in the first film Bring It On. She wears baggy tomboyish clothes, has unkempt hair, and lacks a male love interest. When Whitney and Courtney keep calling her an "Uber-Dyke" she doesn't deny any of it. And she shares a lot of onscreen chemistry and an emotionally charged close friendship with Torrance, holding hands and even sharing a bed together (in the DVD commentary the director records the disappointment of the audience that this didn't lead to anything further).
  • Amusing Injuries: Carver's multiple fractures are played for laughs as much as they are for drama.
  • Angry Dance: Angry cheering, but same principle: the showdown at the football game in the first movie.
  • Angst: Torrance, about the stolen cheer routines, in the first movie and Whittier, about the politics of the cheer squad, in the second.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: While walking back to the lockers after their dismal game (0-42), some members of the Football team try to make a jab at Jan.
    Football Player: (mockingly) Jan's got spirit, yeah he do,
    Jan's got spirit, how 'bout you!
    Jan: DUDE! You Just Lost!
    (players smug smiles vanishes and walks off embarrassed)
  • As Herself: Rihanna in All Or Nothing, as she judges the final Cheer-Off to decide which squad will appear in her music video, even calling out Winnie for some of her racist/elitist statements against Crenshaw Heights.
  • Beta Couple: Willow and Jeff to Destiny and Blake's Alpha, in Worldwide #Smackdown, as they slowly develop feelings for each other, ending the film as a couple
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Kasey, the mousey, shy member of the Toros gives Courtney and Whitney a giant Shut Up, Hannibal! when defending Torrence.
    (everyone stares at her impressed/shocked)
  • Big Damn Kiss:
    • Ruben and Brooke in In It To Win It. The kiss is so good, it instantly convinces her he's not gay.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The school in the first movie, Rancho Carne, literally translates to "Meat Farm."
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Hannah and Roxanne who are members of the Rebels and Destiny's best friends, but in reality are the driving forces behind The Truth and are scoring to publicly embarrass her. Less so with Roxanne, who only joined The Truth believing they'd be on a team where their voice would be heard, only to find out that Hannah is just as bad if not worse than Destiny, who has changed, and thus reconciles with their friends and rejoins the Rebels.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Torrance is this to her mother when Mrs. Shipman tries to get her to think about college and her academic future. Torrance is only interested in cheering and throws a tantrum at Mrs. Shipman, saying that she's "not a genius", that academics are Mrs. Shipman's priority, not hers, and asks if taking an Advanced Chem course will get Mrs. Shipman off her back.
  • Break the Haughty: Destiny, after The Truth releases her diary to the public, and some of her nasty comments costs her some of her friends and squad mates, forcing her to reevaluate her priorities as Captain.
  • Buffy Speak: Literally in the case of the first movie (which featured two Buffy actress — Eliza Dushku and Clare Kramer, who was cast in the series immediately after the film was released).
  • Broken Pedestal: Big Red to Torrance and the other cheerleaders once it's revealed that she stole almost all the cheers from the Clovers. And despite disliking her for her alpha bitch status, they're understandably pissed off to find this out.
  • Call-Back: In the third movie, Britney's cheerleading squad briefly sings "Hey, Britney" to the tune of the "Mickey" song everyone danced to at the end of the first movie.
  • Calling Your Nausea: One nervous competitor in the National Cheerleading Finals mentions that she has "butterflies". Her coach ascribes this to anxiety, and tries to perform a calming exercise. The ill girl attempts this, then whoops a goodly mess onto the coach. Supplemental material on the disc release mentions this scene was done with canned clam chowder as the "vomit."
  • The Cameo: Rihanna in the third movie, and Ashley Tisdale singing "He Said, She Said" on screen in the end credits for the fourth movie (which has her sister Jennifer in the cast). Toni Basil (the original singer of "Mickey") is one of the judges at the finals in the first movie.
  • Camp: Some of the situations.
  • Camp Gay:
    • Les from the first movie.
    • Ruben from the fourth. Or not. Turns out, his female teammates assumed he was and thus has had no qualms about changing in front of him, which the actually straight Ruben enjoyed too much to correct. When the girls find out, they kick his ass.
  • Camp Straight: Ruben, much of his mannerism and his interest convinced the girls he was gay. He didn't say anything as they had no problem changing in front of him.
  • Captain Ethnic: Some of the cheer captains.
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Jenelope would gladly settle the score with the Toros by beating up Torrance and Missy. Isis doesn't allow it.
  • Catfight: Happens in every movie.
  • The Chew Toy: Especially in the second movie.
  • Choreography Porn: So much as far as cheerleading is concerned, it even averts the Hollywood stereotype.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Thanks to cheer-leading uniforms in school colors.
  • Curse:
    • Torrence believes she's this after being forced to drop the Spirit Stick. By the end of the film she's changed her mind.
    • Carson in In It To Win It, also believes she and The Sharks are cursed after the Spirit Stick is stolen from them.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Torrence's parents can't stand Aaron, due to his douchy ways, and are quite happy he's on his way to college and out of their lives.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Missy and Cliff are the chiefs of this.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Isis and Torrance have a new respect for one another after the cheer championships when the Clovers finally get the recognition they deserve and the Toros come in second with a routine they created fairly.
  • Disqualification-Induced Victory: The Toros don't score very well in the semi-finals (using a routine that's the exact duplicate of another squad's routine, which is normally grounds for disqualification) but because their coach is a fraud who'd been hacking the same cheer routine to different schools, they get to go to the finals anyway.
  • The Ditz: Several characters. A Torrance example is when she looks at Cliff's The Clash t-shirt and asks him "so, is that your band, or something?"
  • Dream Intro: The film begins with Torrance and her cheerleading squad doing an awesome, boastful cheer in the school gym... then she's suddenly naked and humiliated in front of the crowd. She wakes up realizing it was just a bad dream.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Any time they train, especially in the first movie.
  • Dumb Blonde: Played with in Worldwide #Cheersmack, Hannah is introduced as the typical dumb best friend, similar to Chelsea and Sierra in the previous films, but she's eventually revealed to be the villain and mastermind behind Truth.
  • Eating the Eye Candy:
    • Jan enjoys checking out Courtney's ass in the first film. Based on her flirty reaction, this was the intent.
    • In In It To Win It, after being Mistaken for Gay Ruben didn't correct the situation, meaning the many pretty girls in his friend group didn't mind changing in front of him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The resident two Alpha Bitch character from the first movie: Courtney and Whitney, expressly forbid any violence when the team is angry at Torrance.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Hannah has trouble understanding how Didit is so cordial with Jeff and Blake, or how he can cheer them on despite being on the rival squad, and how he can be so happy when the Rebels win.
    The Truth/Hannah: How can you be so happy!?!
    Didit: Because our friends won!
  • Evil Laugh: The Truth lets a few out during their interview with the Cheer Goddess, which the Cheer Goddess calls them out on.
  • Expy: Missy is essentially another one of Eliza Dushku's characters had they not had a psychotic break.
  • Fanservice: Plenty of it, perhaps none moreso than the car wash fundraiser in the first movie.
  • Fanservice Car Wash: The Rancho Carne High School cheerleading team did a bikini car wash to raise funds for an upcoming competition trip.
  • Fiery Redhead: Sky, after she Took a Level in Badass.
  • Fish out of Water: Brittany, she tranferred to the inner city school in Crenshaw from her affluent school.
    • Missy starts out as one when she gets on the squad, and is more than a little weirded out by the atmosphere of the cheer tournaments when she first attends one.
    • Britney in All or Nothing and Lina in Fight to the Finish.
  • Fun T-Shirt: Missy wears one of a Buddhist monkey that says over the chest area Rub here for good luck.
  • Genre Shift: The series switches from lighthearted teen comedy to Horror Comedy with the seventh film, Cheer or Die.
  • Good Stepfather: Henry in Fight to the Finish, treats Lina very well, helps her friends and is very supportive of her and Sky's cheering. By the end of the film, Lina realizes he's a good man, and thanks him for everything he's done for her.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: The Toros and Clovers are rivals during the actual movie, but they perform together during the credits.
  • Graceful Loser: Torrance and her teammate come second at the cheerleading championships at the end of the first film, but they're pleased because the winning streak they had before that was built on several years of stealing routines from another squad.
  • Hey, You!: In the first film, Torrance and Justin only give each other a hard time when they're on screen together, never addressing each other by name.
  • Horror Comedy: Cheer or Die is this, mixing the light-hearted tone of the series with a Slasher film.
  • Informed Ability: Sparky's routine in the first movie which consisted of little more than air-humping and spirit fingers (alongside a few lifts that the cheerleaders should have been able to do already.) Considering he's a con-artist, that might have been the point, but it doesn't explain how he got his reputation as a great choreographer or how he was popular enough to pawn the same crappy routine all up and down the California coast.
  • In with the In Crowd: The third movie.
  • Incoming Ham: Sparky Polastri's introduction.
  • It's All About Me: Destiny at first has this attitude, even ending her diary entry with this word for word. Yet after said diary entry gets plastered all over the world, she comes to realize after the backlash she receives, that she needs to step up and become a less selfish person and captain.
  • Jerkass: Winnie, Brad, Avery, Camille at first but she develops a Jerk with a Heart of Gold at the end of the movie.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: It's true that the Toros did not come up with the routines, but Courtney is correct when she says the team still put in the hours and effort to learn the routines, and they still had to be technically proficient to win five years in a row.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Destiny is a selfish and demanding Diva, but she also cares about her squad and friends, and is actively working on being a better captain and friend.
  • Jive Turkey: The black cheerleaders in part 3.
  • Karma Houdini: Sparky gets away with cheating the Toros and nearly getting them disqualified from the championships in the main plot. Subverted when he appears during the credits and gets beat up by the Toros and the Clovers.
  • Lean and Mean: The teams after training.
  • Lingerie Scene: As the director observes in the DVD commentary a film about teenage cheerleaders requires at least one locker-room scene of the girls changing.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Courtney and Whitney are unapologetically mean, elitist and even try to usurp control of the team from Torrence, but are still a part of the Toros, and are friends with the rest of the squad.
  • Makeover Montage: The new squad in the second.
  • Market-Based Title: In France they're the American Girls movies, and in Germany it's the Girls United series.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Ruben, though it didn't really bother him, as all the girls didn't mind changing in front of him thinking he was gay.
  • Ms. Fanservice: All the females are incredibly fit, beautiful young girls in mini-skirts.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Likewise a majority of the Male cheerleaders are just as good looking, and aren't shy about showing off their muscular physiques when they can.
  • Mouthy Kid: Torrance is a well-intentioned example in the first movie, being somewhat bossy and nearly getting into a fight with Missy because of this.
  • The Musical: Bring It On: The Musical debuted on Broadway in 2012.
  • Must Have Caffeine:
    Kirresha: What's the matter with her?
    Leti: I think it's caffeine withdrawal. Coffee's like crack to white people.
  • My Grandma Can Do Better Than You: In the first movie, the Toros cheer squad is beloved and successful. The Toros football team, on the other hand, is a dumpster fire. In one game, the Toros players' opponents taunt them by saying that the cheer squad would be more of a challenge. It's heavily implied that the opponents are actually right.
  • My Brother Is Off Limits!: Averted with Missy, who actively encourages Cliff to pursue Torrance.
  • Naked People Are Funny: In the first film Torrance has a nightmare where during a cheerleading performance in front of the whole school she suddenly becomes completely naked and must resort to using her pom-poms to cover herself up while the entire school laughs at her — and admires her at the same time while she endures a Naked Freak-Out. Good thing for her it was only a nightmare.
  • Nightmare Sequence: At the beginning of each movie. Worldwide #Cheersmack breaks the convention and moves the nightmare sequence to the middle of the movie.
  • Not Bad: Torrance's brother Justin begins the day of the finals with a "Cheerleading = Death" T-shirt on, but at the end is cheering the Toros' routine as hard as everybody else, appearing to have a newfound respect.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: The film begins with Torrance having a nightmare where she's doing a cheerleading performance in front of the whole school, and as she finishes, we see her Toplessness from the Back in front of the crowd that is staring, laughing, and generally Eating the Eye Candy. She resorts to using her pom-poms to cover herself up before she wakes up and realizes it was just a bad dream.
  • Pac Man Fever: The first movie had Torrance's brother playing Twisted Metal 3, and it looks to avert this trope, as it shows him playing on a PS1, with appropriate sound effects, until he makes another gay joke about her cheerleader boyfriend, where she responds by ripping out his controller so hard it pops the machine open, revealing nothing inside.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Every single movie.
  • Pom-Pom Girl: The whole series is based around pom squad competitions.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "Bring It On!"
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Any time a black person compliments a white person, especially Britney.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • In the first movie, Big Red gives one to Torrance for her inability to lead the squad while referring to the cheers they've done as "borrowing."
    Big Red: Don't be so naive, Torrance. Look, the truth is I was a real leader, okay? I Did What I Had to Do to win at nationals and ever since I handed the region over to you, you run my squad straight into the ground! If I made any mistake as a squad leader, it wasn't borrowing cheers, it was announcing you as my successor.
    • Torrance gives one to Aaron for not being there for her when she needed help the most, trying to sell her out to Courtney and Whitney, and catching him cheating on her with another girl. She and the other girl ends up breaking up with him.
    Torrance: You sound super busy. I guess that's it. You were too busy to believe in me. Oh no, no but wait, you weren't too busy to sell me out to Courtney and Whitney, were you? Gee, now I'm confused. Well, I hope you're not too busy to hear this: Kiss my ass, Aaron, it's over!
    (Torrance pushes the door, showing that Aaron was cheating on her with another girl as she lets out a smirk)
    Torrance: You're a great cheerleader Aaron. It's just that, maybe you're not exactly "boyfriend material". Bye-bye.
    The other girl: You're a cheerleader? (scoffs in disgust and leaves)
  • Religious Bruiser: Averted, as the only thing keeping Trey from beating the Jaguars' asses after they disrupt the Sea-Lions' cheer is her faith.
    Trey: (threateningly to Avery and her posse) Y'all lucky I found Jesus!
  • Riches to Rags: The third movie's Britney, who attends an elite school and lives in a fancy seaside home, has her life suddenly changed when her father loses his job, thus her family is forced to move to Crenshaw Heights, with Britney herself attending a poor public school.
  • School Rivalry: For years, Big Red of the Rancho Carne Toros has been cribbing the kinetic routines of the inner city Clovers, using them to turn the Toros into a powerhouse cheer squad at the National Finals. Big Red was counting on the Clovers being too poor to afford airfare and entry fees. This year, the Clovers have a wealthy sponsor, and are determined to outshine the copycat Toros. "Tried to steal our bit / But you look like shit / 'Cause we're the ones who are down with it!"
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: The Clovers nearly miss out on Nationals due to a lack of funds. Determined to compete with the Clovers on equal ground, Torrance brings them a check from her dad's law firm, which Isis immediately tears up and throws in her face, refusing to accept "guilt money" from her squad's rich white archrivals. The Clovers later secure the money they need from a talk-show host who herself grew up in Compton.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Subverted in at least the first movie.
  • Second Year Protagonist: Subverted in the first film. Torrance is a senior in high school, and it's implied that everybody else on both the Toros and the Clovers is, too, but Torrance's mom lampshades the fact that her course load and the amount of focus they put into cheerleading say otherwise.
  • Self-Deprecation: Sort of — when Camille complains "(Britney) thinks she's all that," one of her fellow cheerleaders points out "Name one cheerleader who doesn't."
  • Serious Business: All the films treat cheerleading like this. But to be fair they also show just how much work, training and athleticism cheerleading requires, and how dangerous the sport can be.
  • Ship Tease: Theres a slight one between Jan and Courtney in the first film, as he mentions getting handsy with her during stunting, she noticeably shows off for him during the sidelines and he instantly recognizes her spanks after Justin steals them.
  • Show Some Leg: Cheerleader outfits are very leggy by default, but most of the girls in the movies are also found of short shorts and miniskirts anyways.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Missy is sporting Faith's tattoo, which she promptly rubs off when told ink is strictly forbidden.
    • When the Clovers confront Missy and Torrance, one of them asks, "Can we just beat these Buffys down?" When they decide not to fight them, another Clover says, "You just got touched by an Angel." Or Touched by an Angel.
    • In the first movie, Missy gives a Shout-Out to West Side Story when she says they might have to have a rumble. Hilarious in Hindsight given the plot of In It to Win It.
    • In the credits of the first movie, Carver does the 'kick the cane over the shoulder' bit just like Charlie Chaplin.
    • Speaking of In It to Win It, Star-Crossed Lovers Carson and Penn have a balcony scene.
    • In It to Win It is the only film to be set at a cheer camp. So naturally the writers peppered the film with Friday the 13th references (which also takes place at a camp). The opening nightmare scene features a mascot wearing a hockey mask and the rival camp's owner's last name is Voorhees.
  • Slapstick: Many of the falls.
  • The Spartan Way: Many of the training sequences.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Sky from the fifth movie. She's rich, sweet, and nice, so nice that she asks her father to use his connections to let Lina's friends from East L.A. attend Malibu Vista High, in order to help Sea Lions squad to be better.
  • Spoiler Cover: For Worldwide #Cheersmack, the revelation that Dumb Blonde Hannah is actually the villain is spoiled when you see that she's prominently displayed on the cover art as Destiny's rival complete with a different uniform.
  • Stepford Smiler: Played for Laughs in the first movie. When the Toros football team is getting their asses kicked during an evening game, Torrance leads the rest of the cheer squad in trying to rally the defense but mutters under her breath about how "useless" they are.
  • Sudden Musical Ending: The first film ends with "Mickey", the second, with "Hit Me With Your Best Shot".
  • Surfer Dude: The love interest in part 4.
  • Take That!: After the Clovers arrive at RCH, and embarrass the Toros, proving to the entire school they have been stealing the Clovers routines, they make sure to secure the point.
    Clovers: Tried to steal our bit,
    But you look like shit,
    But we're the ones who are down with it!
  • Theme Tune Roll Call: Only Theme Cheer Roll Call in part 2.
  • Title Drop: Surprisingly averted for most of the movies. They mostly say "bring it" instead of "bring it on". The lone exception is All or Nothing, where "bring it on" is said by Britney.
  • Those Two Girls: Courtney and Whitney from the first movie.
  • Token Minority: Subverted both racially and sexually.
  • Too Much Information: In the first movie, the following exchange occurs when Missy intercepts her brother Cliff as he's visiting the cheer squad's car wash fundraiser and sticks her breasts in his face:
    Missy: Hey, perv.
    Cliff: Gahhh!
    Missy: Hand over your fifteen bucks or get out of here.
    Cliff: What are you doing?
    Missy: Making money from guys oogling my goodies.
    Cliff: Aww, I didn't need to hear that. That was an overshare.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Part 2's alternate cheer team. Brittany in the third movie, Sky in the fifth movie, even when she stood up to Avery and Kayla.
  • Training from Hell: In the leadup to Nationals in the first movie, Torrance requires that her squad practices constantly. Justified in the sense that they had to create and perfect a routine in three weeks, but still quite harsh.
  • Valley Girl: Exemplified by the cheer that Torrance encourages Missy to perform: "Awesome, oh wow, like totally freak me out, I mean, right on! The Toros sure are number one!" And immediately snarked right back by Missy in the same sing-songy voice that Torrance gave her: "I transferred from Los Angeles! Your school has no gymnastics team! This is a last resort!"
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The Bomb Diggity from part 2.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: In the first movie, at the Cheerleading Competition, a nervous cheerleader vomits all over her own coach. The Director's Commentary explains that at Cheerleading Competitions, you will see cheerleaders vomiting because they are so nervous.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Hannah in Worldwide #Cheersmack. Her actress, Sophie Vavasseur, is Irish, but her attempt at an American accent is so bad, she's borderline incomprehensible.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: The fourth movie is West Side Story with cheerleading squads instead of gangs.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In Again, Whitter doesn't realize that Rocky loses to Apollo Creed, and is told on camera when she tries to play the Renegades off as the underdog.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Some of the more racist compliments delivered throughout the series.