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Film / 10 Things I Hate About You

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"I hate the way you talk to me, and the way you cut your hair.
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 teen romantic comedy film directed by Gil Junger, written by Karen McCullah and Kirsten Smith, and starring Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Larisa Oleynik. The film is a modernized and updated High School AU-style take on The Taming of the Shrew, and its plot 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...

10 Things has gained a cult following as a standout among '90s teen films, notably providing breakout roles for Stiles and Ledger and putting them on the map as dramatic actors to watch.

The film was also adapted into a sitcom reboot which aired on ABC Family from 2009 to 2010 and starred Lindsey Shaw as Kat, Meaghan Martin as Bianca and Ethan Peck as Patrick. More information on it can be found here.

This film provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Title Change: Ten Things I Hate About You is a modernised adaptation of Shakespeare's The Taming of The Shrew.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: 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.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted.
    • Kat only starts to like Patrick 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.
    Bianca: That's for making my date bleed, that's for my sister, and that’s for me!
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Unlike the other French lesson dialogue, Cameron's French cursing is not subtitled.
  • 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.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Mr. Stratford, being an Boyfriend-Blocking 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.
  • Composite Character: Joey is one for the original Taming of the Shrew's Gremio and Hortensio.
  • Death Glare:
    • Kat gives the preppy girls a surly glare when we first see her. It comes with an Establishing Character Moment.
    • Walter angrily stares down Joey 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.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Kat deliberately invokes this to get Patrick out of detention.
  • Dysfunctional Family: The Stratfords, largely due to Mr Stratford being a Boyfriend-Blocking 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.
    • Also captured in that wonderful exchange with Miss Perky:
      Ms. Perky: People perceive you as somewhat...
      Kat: Tempestuous?
      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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • Foreshadowing:
    • 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: As in the Shakespearean source material, the Stratford sisters. Kat is the bitchy and high-minded Smart, while Bianca is the gregarious and not-as-intellectual Pretty.
    Kat: You don't always have to be who they want you to be, you know.
    Bianca: I happen to like being adored, thank you.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • High School AU: 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.
  • 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.
  • Hypocrite: Kat wants to protect Bianca from making her mistakes with boys, but she also want her to make up her own mind, so she won't tell her anything.
  • 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.
  • 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?"
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mills and Boon Prose: A guidance counselor, who writes bad sex novels, wants to know another word for "engorged".
    • Swollen.
    • Turgid.
    • Tumescent?
    • Perfect!
    • 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. She gets a few 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.
  • 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:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pair the Spares: Chastity ends up with Joey; Michael starts dating Kat's best friend Mandella.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: 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.
  • 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, 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.
  • "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).
  • 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.
  • 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 her younger sister Bianca is a glamour-obsessed fashionista.
  • 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.
  • Two-Teacher School: The gym teacher/soccer coach and the English teacher are the only ones seen.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    • This exchange:
      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).


Video Example(s):


Can't Take My Eyes Off You

Verona seeks to win Kat back through epic gesture of affection.

How well does it match the trope?

4.6 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / SerenadeYourLover

Media sources: