Follow TV Tropes


Film / John Tucker Must Die

Go To
From left to right: Kate, Beth, John, Carrie and Heather.

John Tucker Must Die is a 2006 comedy film starring Brittany Snow and Jesse Metcalf. It was directed by Betty Thomas.

Heather, The Cheerleader, Beth, a vegan environmentalist , and Carrie the Academic Alpha Bitch, team up to bring down the guy that dated them all at once and then broke their hearts. Their weapon is Kate, the New Transfer Student, who has her own grudge against Handsome Lech types. The four hatch a plan to break John's heart the same way he broke theirs, fashioning the inexperienced Kate as the ultimate heartbreaker.

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 turn things From Bad to Worse, backfire and make John even a bigger hit with the other girls in the school. But he falls hard for Kate and she fears she might have bit off more than she can chew.


This movie provides examples of:

  • An Aesop: Be Yourself. It's mostly a lesson for Kate, but you could also say that John and the other three girls had to learn to be more vulnerable and put on less of a facade.
  • Anti-Hero:
    • Kate is the film's protagonist, but her goal is to humiliate John by manipulating his emotions.
    • Advertisement:
    • Even accounting for their (pretty legitimate) Woman Scorned feelings. Beth, Carrie and Heather come across as rather unlikable. They are ruthless, they don't care for any collateral damage, and they clearly don't particularly care about Kate either.
  • Becoming the Mask: Predictably, Kate ends up falling for John while pretending to date him in order to set him up to be humiliated. 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.
  • The Cheerleader: Heather isn't as outright evil as some movie cheerleaders but she's still pretty bitchy and shallow.
  • 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.
  • Disappeared Dad: We never see Kate's father.
  • Fan Disservice: The 60-year-old faculty teachers wearing thongs under their pants at the end.
  • Fanservice: Kate's lingerie set and the kiss between Kate and Beth.
  • Friendless Background: Kate. Before Heather, Beth, and Carrie, she never had any other friends, which may have motivated her into acting like an Alpha Bitch.
  • 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:
    Boy: Holy Jama Llama! Kiss her again! Do it!
    Kate: Get out of here, you little perv!
  • Glamorous Single Mother: Deconstructed with Kate's mom. While she a good-looking cool young mom, she is also an emotional mess who is Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places.
  • 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.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In the beginning of the film, when a 7th grade Kate spells "anonymous" wrong, the announcer proceeds to spell the word "wrong" as "w-o-r-n-g."
  • Jerk Jock: John definitely qualifies; he's the obnoxious star of the basketball team and he lies to girls he dates.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • All the girls get away with torturing John all year. No comeuppance.
    • John gets away with being the school slut all year with one little apology. Then they all forgive each other and have a wacky food fight.
  • Ms. Vice Gal: Heather has traits like pride and vanity, but she's still a good person and a sympathetic character.
  • Never My Fault: Kate blames her mother's poor dating choices on why she's turning into an Alpha Bitch.
  • Practice Kiss: Two of the titular character's girlfriends practice kissing together after Kate admits the she has never kissed anyone.
  • Stacy's Mom: Kate's mother is seen as attractive by guys around Kate's age and Beth.
  • 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: The girls temporarily shun Kate from the group because she doesn't hate John enough.
  • Woman Scorned: Three actually and at the same time. Beth, Carrie and Heather were all dating John Tucker at the same time without knowing it. After learning the truth and being dumped by him, they make it their ultimate goal to ruin John Tucker's life.
  • 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.


Example of: