I hate the way you drive my car, I hate it when you stare.
I hate your big dumb combat boots and the way you read my mind;
I hate you so much it makes me sick, it even makes me rhyme.
I hate the way you're always right, I hate it when you lie,
I hate it when you make me laugh, even worse when you make me cry.
I hate it when you're not around, and the fact that you didn't call,
But mostly I hate the way I don't hate you, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all."
10 Things I Hate About You is a 1999 High School film which was, essentially, a sort of murky, updated High School A.U.-style take on The Taming of the Shrew. The plot is fairly standard for a romantic comedy, and runs as such:
Something is rotten in the house of Stratford. It has come to light that Katerina Stratford, the feminist, intelligent, and well, shrewish elder sister, has received an acceptance letter to a college her overprotective father doesn't want her to go to. Bianca, the bubbly, popular younger sister, got a ride home from a boy today. There's much anger and words are exchanged that cannot be taken back, and from all of this a new rule sprouts forth: Bianca can date when Kat does. This is pretty much the end of it for Bianca, as Kat doesn't really do the whole dating thing, preferring to snark and study. However, when Bianca spills this to Cameron, the new kid in town who has a crush on her and is her French Tutor, he develops a plan: Find someone who'll date Kat. But who?
The bad boy in town, of course. Enter Patrick Verona. He's mean, he's tough, and he scares off Cameron when he's approached with the idea. However, Michael, Cameron's new friend(ish), comes up with an idea: get Joey, a popular guy with a crush on Bianca, to cough up money for them to bribe Patrick with. This succeeds, and in the end, Patrick woos Kat by essentially being as cantankerous and stubborn as she is, only more romantic. He ends up asking her to the prom, having been given 300 bucks to do it, and while she doesn't go at first, she eventually accepts. The problem? He's actually really starting to like this girl...
Despite being a teen romcom, 10 Things received some good reviews for acting, writing and general amusement value (especially if you're familiar with the Shakespeare). It's still fondly remembered years later because of that. Most notably, it put its two leads on the map as dramatic actors to watch in the future. Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger had their break-out roles here. In the meanwhile, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun) and Larisa Oleynik (the title character from The Secret World of Alex Mack, not to mention JGL's girlfriend on Third Rock) played the roles of Cameron and Bianca. Lastly, David Krumholtz of NUMB3RS, The Addams Family and The Santa Clause played Michael, and Allison Janney had a One-Scene Wonder role as "Miss Perky," the school's incredibly-messed up guidance counselor. (This film is a shining example of Retroactive Recognition.)
Also has a Sitcom based on it, which aired on ABC Family in 2009 starring Lindsey Shaw as Kat and Ethan Peck as Patrick. More information on it can be found here. Despite only lasting two years and being Cut Short, it amassed an impressive fanbase and was generally considered better than expected for a series recycled from a film.
This film provides examples of:
- Above the Influence: A minor version, as Patrick was taking care of a very drunk Kat at the party but she had seemed to sober up by the time they got home. They started to connect in the driveway and she leaned in for a kiss, only for Patrick to back off. She was annoyed and storms off, but it's the first implication that Patrick was starting to like her and feeling guilty for the payoff.
- Accidental Misnaming:
- In the space of a few lines when Bianca first speaks to Cameron, she gets his name wrong twice, calling him Curtis and Calvin. He corrects her the first time, but not the second.
- Joey too, in the scene after the doctored flyers for Bogey's party are distributed. Joey calls him Bogey Lowenbrau while talking to Bianca.
- Adaptation Title Change: Ten Things I Hate About You is a modernised adaptation of Shakespeare's The Taming of The Shrew.
- Adaptational Heroism:
- Petruchio of the original play resorted to several forms of Gaslighting and abuse to 'tame' the eponymous shrew. Patrick is initially paid to go out with Kat, but treats her very decently, looks out for her when she goes a little too wild at a party and falls in love with her for real.
- Kat herself too. In the play, she was abusive to her sister and tutors, and had no problem slapping Petruchio when he tried to woo her. While presented as tempestuous here, she's not violent and all this behaviour is given a massive Freudian Excuse. She's also much kinder to her sister, all things considered.
- Adaptational Jerkass:
- Walter compared to his Shakespearean counterpart Baptista. In the original, the agreement that Katherina must marry before Bianca does is partly born out of the societal laws of the time. In this film, he's a ridiculously Overprotective Dad who just doesn't want his daughters to date until they graduate - and tries to stop Kat from going to her dream college because of his clinginess. Until his HeelFace Turn at the end that is.
- All Bianca's suitors in the original had a Friendly Rivalry, and Lucentio (Cameron's counterpart) just convinced his biggest rival that Bianca wasn't worthy of his affections, and he bowed out gracefully when he was outbid. This version has a Jerkass called Joey, who's only out to sleep with Bianca for a bet and dumped Kat when she wouldn't sleep with him a second time.
- Bianca mildly. She was The Ingenue in the original, with only vague hints that she was putting on an act to please her father. Here she has no problem manipulating Cameron to get what she wants, or abandoning her best friend for the same reasons. Of course, she's still called out on it and matures over the course of the story.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted with Katarina and Patrick. She only starts to like him when he's not being a jerk and it's his persistence that wins her over, not his bad boy charms.
- But played straight with Bianca falling for Joey. That is, until she also subverts it by falling for Cameron.
- Alliterative Name: Robert "Bobby" Ridgeway.
- All Periods Are PMS: Katerina's father calls her out on this, after she dents Joey's car in a bout of anger: "My insurance does not cover PMS!"
- Almost Kiss: After the party Kat leans in for a kiss and Patrick pulls away, showing he was starting to connect with her.
- Amusing Injuries: Bianca accidentally firing an arrow into her teacher's backside.
- And This Is for...: Bianca does this to Joey near the end of the movie. It's immensely satisfying.
- Angry Black Man: The English teacher Mr. Morgan, sort of. He's less overtly angry and more deeply snarky, especially to Joey, and replies to Kate's anger about the lack of female authors in the curriculum by pointing out there are no black authors either.
Michael: These delusionals are your White Rastas. Big Marley fans, they think they're black. Semi-political, but mostly...
- Lampshaded with the White Rastas when they try to join in on Mr. Morgan's righteous indignation about the lack of black authors on the school curriculum, only to be reminded they're not actually black.
Cameron: ...Smoke a lot of weed?
- Armor-Piercing Question: When Cameron calls out Bianca on her self-centeredness.Cameron: (very perturbed) Have you always been this selfish?Bianca: (in a small voice) Yes.
- Attention Whore: Kat implies early on that Bianca is one.Bianca: Where did you come from? Planet "Loser"?
Kat: As opposed to Planet "Look At Me, Look At Me"?
- Artists Are Attractive: Patrick starts to fall for Kat, in no small part, because of their similar tastes in music His Apology Gift to her is a specific guitar she's wanted for some time. It proves his sincerity not because of its financial value (though that is also substantial) but because it shows he was listening to her and cared about her desires.
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Kat reluctantly agrees to go to Bogey's party so that Bianca can, even if it means Bianca will likely run into Joey.
- Kat also agreeing to go to the prom, despite having criticised it repeatedly earlier, so that Bianca can attend.
- Mr. Stratford sends Sarah Lawrence a check at the end so Kat can attend, even though he initially wanted her to stay close to home. When he tells Kat this, she's so happy she actually hugs him.
- Bad Guys Play Pool: Just to reinforce his badassitude, Patrick is shown smoking and playing pool in a bar before Cameron comes to tell him how to impress Kat.
- Bad News in a Good Way:Cameron: We're screwed.
Michael: Hey, no, hey. I don't want to hear that defeatist attitude. I want to hear you upbeat.
Cameron: [upbeat)] We're screwed!
Michael: There you go.
- Because I Said So: Their father, sort of, and also Kat towards Bianca's wish to date Joey. She doesn't explain why till the end of the movie. Kat slept with Joey once. When she said she didn't want to do it again, he dumped her.
- The Bet: Subverted and, in a way, played straight. Joey is actually just after Bianca because his friends bet him he couldn't sleep with her, but by the time Bianca finds out about this she's already become disenchanted with Joey and realized that Cameron is the better guy. Patrick, while not betting on anything himself, is the one who catches the consequences of the trope when Kat finds out that he was paid to take her out.
- Beta Couple: Cameron and Bianca become this to Kat and Patrick after Bianca realizes Cameron is a better person than Joey.
- Betty and Veronica: The sweet, genuine Cameron and the shallow Joey for Bianca. She chooses Cameron.
- Big Fancy House: Bogey Lowenstein's house.
- Bilingual Bonus: Unlike the other French lesson dialogue, Cameron's French cursing is not subtitled.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Michael makes Bianca out to be one at the start of the film.
- Chastity. She reveals her true colours at Bogey's party when she goes off with Joey afterwards (Bianca even calls her a bitch after that happens), then shows up at the prom with Joey seemingly just to rub it in Bianca's face that Joey was going to nail her after the prom all because of a bet with his friends.
- Brick Joke: Early in the movie Patrick drills a hole in Cameron's French textbook. The hole remains for the rest of the movie, making for several scenes where the already clueless Cameron is attempting to learn French from a useless book.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The guidance counselor.Cameron: Did you just say ... am I in the right office?
- Calling the Old Man Out: Mr. Stratford, being an Overprotective Dad, gets three small ones, one from Kat and two from Bianca, where Kat lays into him for not letting her attend Sarah Lawrence and to stop trying to control her life because he can't seem to control his, and Bianca even calls him severely unhinged when he won't allow her to attend the prom if Kat isn't going.
- The Cast Showoff: In-universe. Averted with Cameron, who signs up as Bianca's French tutor in order to get close to her, despite being unable to speak French. In real life, Joseph Gordon-Levitt speaks fluent French.Michael: She's actually looking for a French tutor...
Cameron: Are you serious? That's perfect!
Michael: Do you speak French?
Cameron: Well, no, but I will!
- Chekhov's Gun: The money Joey is paying Patrick to date Kat, and the Fender Strat guitar Kat is seen with in the music store. At the end of the film, Patrick reveals to Kat he used the money to get the guitar for her. Possibly subverted in that it may not be the same guitar, but the idea still stands.
- Clique Tour: Michael gives new boy Cameron a tour of the high school social scene.
- Compensating for Something: Joey's expensive sports car (see Teeny Weenie).
- Composite Character: Joey is one for the original Taming of the Shrew's Gremio and Hortensio.
- Cool Car: Joey's sports car, a red Chevrolet Camaro Z28 (the Z28 badge can be seen when Kat dents it). Averted with Kat's beat-up Ford, highlighting the difference between her and the other students, best seen in her Establishing Character Moment.
- Cool Teacher: Mr. Morgan seems perpetually annoyed with his class, but he has a lot of passion and is very upfront with his students. Most notably, he turned one of Shakepeare's sonnets into a rap, inspiring Kat. "I know Shakespeare is a dead white guy, but he knows his shit."
- Deadpan Snarker: See World of Snark.
- Death Glare: Kat when we first see her. It comes with an Establishing Character Moment.
- Walter gives Joey one on prom night when the latter turns up at the Stratford house to pick up Bianca, before wordlessly slamming the door in Joey's face.
- Decoy Protagonist: The film follows Cameron as the main character before the introduction of Kat and Patrick.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Kat, to the point that as she reads her poem at the end, she's reduced to tears towards the end.
- Disappeared Dad: Implied with Patrick, as he tells Kat he lived in Australia with his mother until he was ten, without mentioning his father.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Kat deliberately invokes this to get Patrick out of detention.
- Does Not Like Men: Kat, in keeping with the original. It's eventually subverted, however.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Kat again. She only ever wears flip-flops and mostly goes barefoot around her house.
- Does Not Like Spam: Kat tells Patrick to tell her something true about himself, so he tells her he hates peas.
- Dysfunctional Family: The Stratfords, largely due to Mr Stratford being an Overprotective Dad who doesn't want his daughters to grow up and live their own lives. In Kat's words, he controls their lives because he can't control his.
- Establishing Character Moment: The movie opens with a perky pop song* playing over fun, bouncing credits, as four perky pretty girls roll up to a stop sign in a brightly-coloured sports car... then the pop music is rapidly drowned out by Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation", as a lone, sour-faced young woman rolls up next to them in a beat-up Ford, glaring. Six minutes before we learn her name, five minutes before she ever speaks, and we already know Kat's basic character.
Ms. Perky: People perceive you as somewhat...
- Also captured in that wonderful exchange with Miss Perky:
Ms. Perky: "Heinous bitch" is the term used most often.
Kat: [pleased smile]
- Establishing Character Music: The film establishes Kat quite well by having her pull up next to a bunch of peppy popular girls in a '60s beat-up Dodge Dart, glaring, to the tune of Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation".
- Exact Words: Kat tells Joey to stay away from Bianca during the party scene. Joey responds with this: "Oh, I'll stay away from your sister. But I can't guarantee she'll stay away from me." Sure enough, Bianca runs into Joey, but she soon sees Kat's point about him.
- Even the Guys Want Him: After Heath Ledger finished his audition, the director turned to his mostly female staff and said "I'm not gay. But if I was, that is the kind of guy I'd want to sleep with."
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Subverted with Cameron and Bianca's decidedly unromantic French tutoring sessions, to Cameron's disappointment.Cameron: I thought we could start with pronunciation?
Bianca: Ugh, not the hacking and gagging and spitting part, please.
- It doesn't get any better once they actually start speaking French either, since he's struggling with basic sentence structure, and she's speaking rapid-fire fluent French about how pissed she is that he's not asked her out yet.
- Extreme Omnivore: Subverted. One of the stories going around about Patrick is that he apparently ate a whole live duck, save for the beak and feet. The story turns out to be untrue.
- Face Doodling: Actually took place while the character was awake. Joey doodles on Michael's face as he's trying to speak.Michael: I have a dick on my face, don't I?
- Failed a Spot Check: Cameron doesn't notice for a while the hole Patrick has drilled in his French textbook. It makes for a funny moment when he finally does notice.
- False Friend: Chastity. Although she starts off as the best friend to Bianca, she betrays her first by taking her date (Joey) after he dumps her, then rubs Bianca's face in it afterwards by revealing that he dated her only over a bet with his buddies in the first place.
- Flat Character: Well averted. Cameron, Michael, Kat, Bianca and Patrick all turn out to have Hidden Depths.
- Flipping the Bird: Miss Perky does it to someone who throws something at her window while she's talking to Cameron.
- Mr Morgan insulting Joey in his class ("Someday you're gonna get bitch-slapped, and I'm not going to do a thing to stop it" and then "Unless she kicked the crap out of your dumb butt, I don't want to hear about it") sets up how Joey will get his ass handed to him by Bianca at the prom.
- Bianca tells Cameron in their first meeting that Kat used to be popular but an "unsolved mystery" caused her to become cold and antisocial. Bianca later finds out that it was because Kat went out with Joey before and they went all the way, but when Kat told Joey she wasn't ready to do it again, he dumped her.
- At Bogey's party, when Kat saw Bianca with Joey, Kat tried to get Bianca alone, but Bianca told her to go away. Kat was going to tell Bianca about her past relationship with Joey that she (and the audience) find out about later.
- Full-Name Basis: We only hear Kat's full name of Katarina spoken twice, first by Mr. Stratford when he first appears and again when Cameron asks a group of guys if any of them would be interested in dating her.
- Funny Background Event: As Bianca is trying to fire her bow, Joey tries to talk to her. The result is that the arrow misses the target and hits the teacher insteadnote . Bianca even stops to look before going right back to her conversation.
- When Coach Chapin is supervising detention several scenes later, he still visibly has trouble sitting down due to his earlier injury.
- Get Out!: Mr. Morgan sends Kat out of his class twice. The second time, she's genuinely interested, but he thinks she's mocking him.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Unsurprising, given that this also applies to the original.
- Groin Attack: Bianca to Joey after finding out he placed a bet to nail her on prom night. And the audience cheers.
- A Noodle Incident equivalent happens in Kat's backstory. ("I still maintain that he kicked himself in the balls.")
- When Michael is on his bike and accidentally goes tumbling down a hill, he shouts "My balls!" during one of the bounces.
- The Grovel: After getting Kat so royally pissed off at him that she won't speak to him, Patrick is instructed to "sacrifice yourself on the altar of dignity and even the score." No actual groveling is involved - Patrick opts for a marching-band-assisted rendition of "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" in the middle of her soccer practice instead - but the effect is the same, especially as it also nets him detention.
- Heel Realization:Cameron: Have you always been this selfish?
- Held Gaze: One between Kat and Patrick, which turns into an Almost Kiss but then Patrick looks away, killing the moment. This also happens between Cameron and Bianca as well.
- "Hell, Yes!" Moment: Kat has one when she receives mail from Sarah Lawrence and sees that she got accepted.
- "Hey, You!" Haymaker: Bianca lays one on Joey at the dance.
- High School A.U.: It's intentionally The Taming of the Shrew in a 1999 American high school.
- High-School Dance: Patrick needs to convince Kat to go with him to prom so that Bianca can also attend. Kat finds it an outdated and misogynist event, and her father (a gyno) views it as a prelude to an orgy.
- Hilarious Outtakes: "Can I get a prophylactic?"
- Hollywood Geography: Anyone who's ever lived in Seattle will be somewhat bemused by how quickly they get from various points of the city to others.
- An example: It's a 45-minute drive from Stadium High School in Tacoma (where the actual school building is located) to the docks where they rent the boat when they escape detention.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: Played pretty straight with Bianca, Cameron, and Joey; mostly averted with Kat, though she proves to be Not So Above It All.
- Hypocritical Humor: While Cameron and Bianca are going through Kat's bedroom so that Cameron can clue Patrick in on Kat's likes and dislikes, Bianca refuses to let Cameron see her own room because "a girl's room is very personal". Bear in mind this is after Bianca has shown Cameron a pair of Kat's panties.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: More like "I just shot my teacher in the ass", but it works. It's actually a large part the teacher's fault, as he wandered into the target area while someone still had a bow drawn.
- I Meant to Do That: Michael, on his scooter, swerves out of the way of an oncoming truck and careers down a grassy hill towards the sports field. After he falls off, he gets up, sees the crowd up at the top and cheers with his arms in the air, invoking this trope.
- Informed Ability: Kat is supposed to be a good student, being apparently well-read and with high enough grades to get her a place at Sarah Lawrence, but her attempt at iambic pentameter poetry leaves something to be desired.
- Instantly Proven Wrong: When New Transfer Student Cameron met Michael, he commented he was thankful that for once the teachers didn't send down "one of those audio-visual geeks" to show him around on his first day. Michael laughs, at which point a guy carrying a bunch of AV equipment walks to him and asked "Hey Michael, where should I put those slides?"
- It's All About Me: Joey has this attitude. It's this that causes Bianca to realize that Cameron is the better guy and that Joey doesn't really care about her.
- Bianca at first. Best exemplified early on when she says, "Can we just focus on me for a second, please?" She drops it after Cameron calls her out on her behavior.
- Jerkass: Joey. He makes a bet with his friends that he can get his way with Bianca whether she wants it or not, even trying to do so after she has realized Cameron is better than him, and we later learn that he dumped Kat after she told him that after they slept together, she wasn't ready to do it again.
- Mr. Morgan, to some level. While he is justified in finding Kat, Joey, and others painful to teach, one time he kicks Kat out of class when she makes it clear she approves of the assignment because he assumes she's making fun of him.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Joey is a jerk, to be sure, but his "bitter, self-righteous hag" comment wasn't entirely off.
- Most of Mr Morgan's comments do have some truth to them.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Subverted with Patrick, specifically the jerk part. He's a loner and more than a bit abrasive about the whole bet thing, but as it turns out much of his reputation is just rumors.
- Mr Stratford. True, he may want what he feels is best for Kat and Bianca, but he does it by essentially not wanting them to grow up and have their own lives and doing what they want, coming across as an overprotective jerk in the process. He still loves them, though, and despite not wanting Kat to attend Sarah Lawrence, at the end he does allow her to do so, and is impressed when he learns Bianca beat the hell out of Joey.
- Kat. She comes across as a jerk to almost everyone due to what happened between her and Joey in the backstory. She refuses to let Bianca date Joey or to date anyone seemingly just so Bianca can't. She's still a good person under it all and Bianca sees Kat's point eventually about Joey. Of course, her good side comes round full-circle when she decides to go to the prom just so Bianca can attend and have a good time.
- Kick the Dog: Joey steals Bianca away from Cameron at the party and as they walk away from him, Joey flashes him a smug smile and a sarcastic thumbs-up.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Kat does this twice to Joey.
- Laser-Guided Karma: For parking in the middle of the road, right behind Kat's car to annoy her, Kat delivers instant karma by reversing into Joey's car, denting it.
- Michael is kicked out of the Ivy League group at Padua for a petty reason by Bogey Lowenstein, so Michael gets his revenge by planning a house party at Bogey's house without Bogey knowing about it. It also has a side effect for the main characters in that it gives Joey, then Cameron, an excuse to get with Bianca.
- Also, when Bianca finds out about Joey's ultimate aim to have his way with her on prom night, and now knowing about what he did to Kat in the past, she furiously attacks him.
- Lighter and Softer: The Taming of the Shrew was a good bit more misogynistic.
- Also received a tone-shift between script drafts; the original screenplay is much darker, including a subplot about a suicidal Mandella.
- Light Is Not Good: Joey wears a few white outfits, such as a white tank top, which he wears when he first bribes Patrick to go out with Kat, and the white suit jacket he wears to the prom.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Cameron has this view towards Bianca, hence the lengths he goes to get her. He gets a rude awakening at the party when she darts off to hang with Joey, and he starts seeing and treating her more like a person. For her part, she also recognizes how shallow she had been.
- Meaningful Name:
- Kat's (abbreviated form) name, although she spells it with a K. Seeing as how cats are sterotyped—Cats Are Mean, is not a trope for nothing.
- Kat and Bianca's last name (after Stratford-upon-Avon), as well as Patrick's last name, and Padua High School.
- Cameron James is named after King James, who ruled during Shakespeare's life.
- Megaphone Hanging: Stacks of Shakespeare references.Cameron: I burn, I pine, I perish!
Michael: ...Sure you do.
- Military Brat: In Cameron's first scene, Miss Perky remarks that Cameron has been to nine schools in ten years and asks if he is one. He responds that he is, as his father is in the military, but we don't find out any more as Miss Perky cuts him off.
- Mills and Boon Prose: A guidance counselor, who writes bad sex novels, wants to know another word for "engorged".
- Bratwurst."I'll let you get back to Reginald's quivering member."
"I've got deviants to see and a novel to finish... now SCOOT!"
- Missing Mom: Kat and Bianca's mother is absent, and only gets a mention whenever Bianca puts on a set of her pearls before going out.
- She gets a few more mentions, the implication being that she left the family, and that left the dad feeling out of control, explaining why he's so overprotective of his daughters. She seemed to have been a character in an older version of the script.
- Whether she left in a taxi or a hearse is never established, but frankly it doesn't change much.
- In the original script, their mother was present, but spent all of her time at the computer writing romance novels. All of the gags surrounding Ms. Perky's novels originally belonged to Mrs. Stratford.
- In the series, she's dead.
- She gets a few more mentions, the implication being that she left the family, and that left the dad feeling out of control, explaining why he's so overprotective of his daughters. She seemed to have been a character in an older version of the script.
- Moment Killer: While sitting on the swings outside Bogey's party, Kat remarks on Patrick's eyes. It looks like there will be a tender moment between the two, only for Kat to vomit seconds later.
- Mood Whiplash: As mentioned above, Kat makes a remark on Patrick's eyes, only for the moment to be ruined when she vomits on the ground.
- During the paint-balling session, a tender kiss between Patrick and Kat is interrupted when Kat hits Patrick on the forehead with another paintball.
- Mr. Fanservice: Patrick and Joey. In Joey's case, it's what attracted him to Kat in the backstory.
- Narcissist: Joey. He can't seem to stop thinking or talking about himself in front of Bianca and after she agrees to go to Bogey's party with him, he smiles and winks at his reflection in his locker mirror.
- The '90s: Ska (lots of it), The Real World, Dawson's Creek, and Jared Leto references.
Patrick: You know, these guys are no Bikini Kill or the Raincoats, but they're not bad.
- The original screenplay was written several years before the film eventually went into production and heavily featured references to the Washington Riot Grrrl music scene that was in full swing at the time; the finished film name drops a few bands associated with the genre.
- Nice Guy: Cameron, Michael, and Patrick, on the whole. While all 3 do have their flaws, they all do look out for each other, and Bianca and Kat.
- Nice Guys Finish Last: Cameron uses him having "learned French for her" as an argument why Bianca should have been nicer to him.
- No Full Name Given: Occurs with all four members of staff at Padua we see: Miss Perky, Mr. Morgan, Coach Chapin, and Miss Perky's secretary, Judith.
- Nonindicative Name: "Ten Things I Hate About You" is catchy, but Kat's poem lists more than ten things. The explanation is some of the items may be listed together. The words "I hate" appear in the poem ten times; the words that follow may be lumped together. Thus "I hate your big dumb combat boots and the way you read my mind" would be one item.
- Noodle Incident: Michael tells Cameron the last party he went to before Bogey's was at a Chuck E. Cheese, and apparently had a good time there.
- Oh, Crap!: Michael at the prom when he realizes Kat knows the truth about the bet, and he promptly tells Cameron the shit has hit the fan.
- Only in It for the Money: Patrick admits this to Cameron and Michael early on about the bet. This attitude soon changes when he starts falling for Kat, and when Kat finds out about the bet, Patrick says he didn't care about the money.
- Overprotective Dad: In addition to the whole Missing Mom thing, he's also a natal specialist who evidently deals with a lot of teenagers.Walter: Kissing isn't what keeps me up to my elbows in placentas all day!
- In the end it's shown that he does so largely because he's afraid they can't handle themselves, and is actually impressed that Bianca punched out Joey at the prom.
- Pair the Spares: Chastity ends up with Joey; Michael starts dating Kat's best friend Mandella.
- Parking Payback: Kat's least favourite person parks his shiny new sports car behind her, in the middle of the road. This is, itself, illegal and done specifically to annoy her, but Kat takes it a bit too far when she backs right into him, destroying the side.Walter: 'Whoops?' My insurance does not cover PMS!
Kat: Well then, tell them I had a seizure.
- A Party, Also Known as an Orgy: Said by Mr. Stratford when Bianca and Chastity tried to convince him that them going to Bogey's party wasn't the end of the world.Walter: Where are we going?
Bianca: Well, if you must know, a small study group of friends...
Walter: ...otherwise known as an orgy?
Chastity: Mr. Stratford, it's just a party.
Walter: And hell is just a sauna.
- Pet the Dog: At Bogey's party, Joey is about to ask Patrick how he was able to get Kat to come to the party (he didn't, Bianca did, but Joey doesn't know that), and when, seconds later, Kat starts a drunken table dance, Joey encourages her for a moment and is quite impressed by it.
- Pretty Boy: Patrick's prettyness gets lampshaded in the movie.Cameron: And Kat likes pretty guys.
Patrick: Are you saying I'm not a pretty guy?
- Prince Charming Wannabe: Double-subverted with Joey. At first, though, Bianca is attracted to him and wants to be with him instead of Cameron. The trope comes into play starting at Bogey's party when Bianca realizes Joey is extremely self-absorbed, and that Cameron is the better guy of the two, and eventually results in Bianca snapping at Joey at the prom after she finds out from Chastity that Joey only wanted to get with her because of a bet he made with his friends.
- Reconstruction: Has some elements of this with regards to the teen comedy. Kat's anti-social behavior stems from past high school drama and Bianca has a Heel Realization with her It's All About Me attitude.
- Red Is Heroic: Inverted. Joey's sports car is red, but he's a Jerk Jock.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kat is blue, Bianca is red. This is also shown in the colours of a good number of their respective outfits in their scenes together, including their prom dresses near the end of the film.
- Kat is also the red to Patrick's blue.
- Rooftop Concert: The movie ends with a crane shot, revealing the band Letters to Cleo playing on top of Padua High School.
- Rule of Three: See Will They or Won't They? example below.
- In all three scenes in Mr. Morgan's English class, Kat leaves while each is in progress. The first two times, Mr. Morgan tells her to Get Out!. The third, however, she starts crying as she reads her poem and walks out.
- Sarcastic Devotee: Michael to Cameron, thinking that Bianca isn't worth his effort at first.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: When Cameron asks the guys Michael has gathered about whether they will date Kat, the final guy has this reaction.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!: Bianca believes she can manipulate Cameron's feelings for her based on this. When he finds out, as seen in the What the Hell, Hero? examples below, Cameron disagrees.
- Joey feels that, as the most handsome man on campus, he can have any woman he wants and be damned her feelings on the matter.
- Second-Act Breakup: Played mostly straight with Kat and Patrick, although most of the movie is them getting close and then getting in a big fight anyway.
- Serenade Your Lover: The famous "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" scene in the stadium. With a parade.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Thanks to Dawson's Creek, this is one of the many teen-oriented projects in which the kids arrange their words in such a manner that they sound like a college freshman who's trying too hard to make an essay sound more sophisticated than it actually is.Bianca: Can we for two seconds ignore the fact that you're severely unhinged and discuss my need for a night of teenage normalcy?
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Kat and Patrick have this effect on one another. Kat in particular wears casual clothes for most of the film (save for donning a strapless top for the concert) but looks positively stunning in a blue prom dress with her hair done and her mother's pearls.
- Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: After a Heel Realization courtesy of being called out by Cameron, Bianca becomes one of these.
- Shot in the Ass: A distracted Bianca looses an arrow into her gym teacher's posterior.
- Show Some Leg: It isn't exactly her leg.Patrick: So how did you keep him distracted?
Kat: I dazzled him with my... wits.
- Shrouded in Myth: Patrick Verona is supposed to have eaten a live duck, sold his liver on the black market for a new set of speakers, lit a State Trooper on fire, known Marilyn Manson, slept with a Spice Girl (he doesn't think so) and been a porn star, among other things. Kat has a bit of a reputation too. Amusingly, when they discuss this later, it turns out the only thing that's actually true is Kat pulling a Groin Attack on a guy who tried to grope her in the lunch line.Ms. Perky: His testicle retrieval operation went quite well, in case you're wondering.
Kat: I still maintain that he kicked himself in the balls.
- "Shut Up" Kiss:
- Bianca does this to Cameron when he calls her out on her actions at the party (He was technically her date, but she spent more time with Joey only to recognize Joey for what he was. Cameron was being a gentleman by driving her home). Probably the best way to get back in his good graces.
- Subverted later when Kat finally finds out that Patrick was paid to date her. He tries resorting to this to convince her that he really did love her, but she was too angry and pushed him away.
- Played straight again at the very end of the movie, after Patrick finally wins Kat back by buying her dream guitar for her.
- Small Reference Pools: Kat complains about not discussing women authors in English class, but only names Sylvia Plath and Charlotte Brontë (she does name Simone de Beauvoir, however).
- Smoking Is Not Cool: Kat certainly thinks so, and according to Bianca she once said she would rather die before dating a guy who smoked. Patrick gives up to try and appeal to her. She walks away from him after the paint-balling session when he lights up (she also takes the cigarette from his mouth).
- The Snark Knight: Kat doesn't pass any occasions to lash out at people and when there are no targets, she focuses on herself.
- Stalking Is Love: Patrick goes to pretty great lengths to follow Kat around. When he follows her into a bookstore and claims to be looking for a copy of The Feminine Mystique, she shuts him down by pushing him away with that very book.
- Tap on the Head: Kat's drunken table dance ends when she hits her head on the chandelier above the table and Patrick catches her before she can hit the ground.
- Teeny Weenie: Joey, apparently. Kat threatens to reveal this to the cheerleading team if he tells anyone that he slept with her.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Mr. Stratford says "This is not good" as Cameron and Bianca leave his house to go the prom.
- Token Black Friend:
- Chastity is seemingly there just as a friend for Bianca to sound board ideas off in the first act. This gets arguably subverted when at Bogey's party, she gets annoyed with Bianca pawning her off on Cameron and hooks up with Joey in retaliation.
- Joey has a black friend who exists only to listen to his evil plans and gets minimal lines or characterization.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Kat is an aggressive, casually dressed lover of punk music, and Bianca is a glamour-obsessed fashionista.
- Took a Level in Badass: Bianca, at the prom, after she finds out about Joey's bet and his involvement in the Kat plot. Much to the bemusement of the other characters.Kat: Bianca beat the hell out of some guy.
Walter: Bianca did what?!
Kat: What's the matter, upset that I rubbed off on her?
Walter: No... impressed.
- Took a Level in Kindness:
- Kat becomes nicer when she agrees to go to the prom so that Bianca can have her dream date.
- Bianca improves her attitude when Cameron points out what a bitch she has been. From then on, she is more polite, sincere, and less manipulative.
- Totally Radical: Played for laughs in-universe; Walter Stratford's various attempts at speaking 'teen' in an effort to get his point across to his daughters aren't as successful as he hopes.
- Trademark Favourite Food: Possibly. Cameron finds out from Bianca that Kat really likes Thai food.
- Tsundere: Kat is a definitive type A.
- Two-Teacher School: The gym teacher/soccer coach and the English teacher are the only ones seen.
- Unusual Euphemism:Patrick: Joey can plough whatever he wants.
Cameron: Hey! There will be no ploughing!
- "Bratwurst? Well, aren't we the optimist."
- Vanity Is Feminine: Poked fun at when Patrick is told Katerina prefers "pretty guys." "... Are you telling me I'm not a pretty guy?"
- Villains Out Shopping: Joey is seen at Bogey's party and also at the prom. There's also the scene of him asking Bianca which of his modelling headshots look better (for context, they're exactly the same, except in one he's wearing a white shirt, and a black shirt in the other).
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: Bianca lays Joey out at prom for "making my date bleed", among other things.
- Vomit Discretion Shot: This happens after Kat gets drunk at Bogey's party and she and Patrick are sitting on the swings outside Bogey's house.
- Wedlock Block: The premise of the movie (but with dating instead of marriage).
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Miss Perky has several memorable scenes early on, interacting with the other major characters, and with her own recurring joke about writing an erotic novel but disappears from the movie entirely a third of the way through.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Cameron gives Bianca a piece of his mind when he learns that she was just manipulating him and his feelings towards her to try and get closer to another guy. This is, of course, after Bianca has decided that maybe he's the better choice after all.Cameron: Just 'cause you're beautiful, that doesn't mean that you can treat people like they don't matter. (cue "Shut Up" Kiss)
- Why Can't I Hate You?: Exemplified perfectly in the poem.
- Wild Teen Party: In which Kat gets drunk, dances on a table, and throws up in the park.
- Will They or Won't They?: Kat runs out on Patrick a total of three times over the course of the movie: once after the drunk Almost Kiss (which Patrick didn't go for), once after he accidentally pulled a cigarette, and (of course) at the prom after the truth comes out.
- World of Snark: Kat, Bianca, Michael, to name only a few, and plenty of Snark-to-Snark Combat, especially between the Stratfords.
- Worst Aid: Patrick thinks Kat might have a concussion, so he tries to stop her from falling asleep - which is a complete myth. As long as the person isn't displaying any difficulties holding a conversation or walking, or displaying symptoms like dilated pupils, sleep is actually good to help the brain rest
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Parodied.Michael: [in character] The shit hath hitteth the fan... eth.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Patrick tells Cameron this when Cameron wants to call the plan off because Bianca seems to prefer Joey over him at that point. Patrick tells him, "Joey is not half the man you are."
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: In a variation, when Kat offers excitement when the English teacher invites them to write their own Shakespearean sonnet he sends her to detention. Since she spends all her time on a soapbox and criticizing his curriculum, he took it as sarcasm.