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Series / Odd Girl Out

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Odd Girl Out is a 2005 Made-for-TV Movie starring Alexa Vega, Leah Pipes and Lisa Vidal. The film is based on the book Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls by Rachel Simmons, with the names of some of the characters along with situations coming straight from the book itself.

Vega plays Vanessa, a teenage student who is ostracized by her friends and relentlessly bullied to extreme measures. Her mother is fully aware of the bullying and struggles to fight against it, despite the faculty's indifference to many of the attacks.

This film provides examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: Apart from Vanessa's mother, all other adults allow the bullying to continue. The teachers ignore it, Stacey's mother insists Vanessa is overreacting and the principal doesn't take action until Vanessa's suicide attempt. Unfortunately, a lot of this is Truth in Television
  • Alpha Bitch: Stacey is the leader of the Girl Posse, though her bitchiness seems to falter from scene to scene.
  • At Least I Admit It: A third-person example. When confronting Stacey at the end, Vanessa calls her out for what a manipulative liar she is, telling her that Nikki is at least completely up-front about the kind of person she is.
  • Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch: While Vanessa's original status as Alpha Bitch is debatable, Tiffany is outside the clique at the start and immediately moves herself in to take part in the bullying once Vanessa has been kicked out.
  • Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: Subverted; Nikki, Stacey and a group of girls actually followed her to a far off stall just to talk about her.
  • Beta Bitch: Nikki to Stacey, merging this with Dragon-in-Chief - as she's the one who leads the bullying on.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Stacey. She's so good at it that she fools Vanessa, her parents, and a good portion of the audience into thinking she's a mostly decent person who just makes bad choices. It takes until the very end for Vanessa to catch on.
  • Bittersweet Ending: While neither Tiffany nor Nikki are punished, Stacey did got chewed out by Vanessa and survived her suicide attempt while overcoming them.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The school's lighting is unbelievably dark, obviously to symbolize the type of environment it is.
  • *Cough* Snark *Cough*: Tiffany uses this on Vanessa during the first time she gets shunned in the lunch room.
    Tiffany: *cough*Slut!*cough*
  • Cute Is Evil: Stacey's bedroom is full of stuffed animals, and she wears pink, fluffy slippers when relaxing at home. This fits with her overall Bitch in Sheep's Clothing status.
  • Despair Event Horizon: After being stood up for a party by her former friends, Vanessa overdoses on sleeping pills. Thankfully, her mother discovers this before she dies.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Stacey is pretty shocked at Vanessa's suicide attempt and appears to be genuinely disgusted when Nikki and Tiffany laugh about it.
  • Evil Redhead: Ezra is a loudmouthed punk who was even first introduced into the film as fighting with Tony in gym class. His behavior over the film gets worse as he begins to bully Vanessa both offline and online simply because he felt like it in spite of her doing nothing against him, thoughtlessly blurts out after her suicide attempt that she shot herself and even sends a message while she was still hospitalized taunting her over it and goading him to take his own mother's pills to finish the job. Thankfully, this last act gets him in trouble along with Nikki and Tiffany, who'd rather be banned from graduation and have to go to summer school than to admit to their principal they were sending the threats.
  • Fille Fatale: We're told that Nikki loves playing with the emotions of boys who like her.
  • Foreshadowing: The first time Vanessa discovers her hate site, she's directed to it by someone with an unknown screen name... at the same time she was scheduled to chat with Stacey online. It's later revealed that the screen name does not belong to Nikki, Tiffany, or Ezra, which further seems to indicate that it was Stacey.
  • Former Friend of Alpha Bitch: Vanessa and Stacey have been best friends since childhood, though Stacey inexplicably turns on her through Nikki's influence.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble:
    • Vanessa (optimist)
    • Emily (realist)
    • Nikki (cynic)
    • Tiffany (apathetic)
    • Stacey (conflicted)
  • Genre Savvy: Stacey's father ends up being this in his only line in the film. After hearing his wife and daughter complain about Vanessa at the dinner table, he tells his somewhat skeptical son how brutal women are and how they tear each other down over the most petty of things while men smack each other in the head and then get a beer. His wife then dismisses him saying that men have no feelings.
  • The Ghost: Vanessa's father, who is only "seen" through phone calls.
  • Girl Posse: Played oh so very straight.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Vanessa is prettier, smarter, a better athlete and more well-liked than Nikki, which she knows and drives her to betray her.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Invoked by the girls, who deliberately make fun of Vanessa's weight, despite her looking very healthy for her age.
  • In with the In Crowd: Tiffany desires to be so, and gets her wish when the bullying starts.
  • Jerk Jock: Nikki is actually a female example, playing on the soccer team.
  • Junior High: The children, as confirmed by the graduation in the end, are eighth-graders.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Nikki gets away scot free. Stacey gets a verbal smackdown laid on her by Vanessa, but Nikki is not punished at all when she's arguably more evil than Stacey. By all rights, she could realistically get a jail sentence for all she does in the film.
    • The same could also be said about the unnamed douchebag who taped Vanessa as she was being loaded into the ambulance after her OD and then uploaded it onto a computer.
  • Lack of Empathy: Nikki is a fine example. She feels nothing for any of the pain she and the other children are causing Vanessa even going as far as laughing at her while watching the video of her in an ambulance. Also, even though she is supposed to be Stacey's best friend and number one supporter, she comes off as not having any real warmth for her or anyone else in the film and speaks in a monotone voice.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Subverted. For most of the film, Stacy comes off as a nicer person than Nikki, but by the end of the film, Vanessa concludes that she's actually worse, because she pretends to be her friend only to betray her repeatedly, whereas Nikki at least doesn't hide the fact that she's a horrible person.
  • Lovable Jock: Tony, the boy Vanessa and Stacey like. Vanessa and Emily also count, being soccer players.
  • Love Triangle: Between Stacey, Tony and Vanessa, which helps to fuel the bullying.
  • Magical Negro: Emily's role in the plot is to warn Vanessa not to trust the bullies, tell her how good, smart and special she is after she tries to kill herself, speak out on her behalf in class and literally lead the assembled teenage crowd in a round of applause for her when Vanessa finally stands up for herself at the end of the movie.
  • Mama Bear: Barbara's whole role is this. She does her best to resolve the issue and keep her daughter safe.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Stacey. Even though Nikki is the more vocal and vicious of the two, she still allowed the bullying to continue and kept messing with Vanessa's head by pretending to still be friends with her and using anything she was told in confidence against her.
  • Nice Guy: Tony, as shown when he's not receptive to Nikki's advances.
  • NOT!: One of the comments on the "Hating Vanessa" website about her Traumatic Haircut is "Gee, I think it's cool.....NOT!!"
  • Pinocchio Nose: Stacey tends to touch her hair awkwardly when she's lying. This serves as an early clue that her apology when Vanessa comes back to school was not sincere.
  • Rich Bitch: Stacey has shades of this, as seen in the shopping mall scene.
  • School Bullying Is Harmless: Averted and how! The school does not take action until after Vanessa's suicide attempt, when Vanessa's mother comes forward with all of the emails, IM messages, videos and other messages along with various posts from the Hate Vanessa website that Stacy and her that Stacy and her Girl Posse sent Vanessa.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Emily does this to Stacey after Vanessa's suicide attempt. Stacy get one from Vanessa near the end of the film as well.
  • Teens Are Monsters: The girls go to extreme lengths to antagonize Vanessa, culminating in Nikki and Tiffany laughing cruelly at a suicide attempt from her.
  • There Are No Therapists: Vanessa's insecurities are all solved by a long talk with her mother and confronting the bullies. Barbara mentions making an appointment for Vanessa with a psychiatrist, but Vanessa turns it down in favor of returning back to school right away.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Vanessa is more tomboyish compared to the rest of the girly Girl Posse. At the beginning, Vanessa was also very girly, but later she had a somewhat boyish cut and less girly interests.
  • Traumatic Haircut: After Vanessa overhears the girls making fun of her hair, she chops a lot of it off. When she shows up to school with her new hairstyle, the other girls post various cruel taunts about her hair on the website. In a weird way, it doubles as an Important Haircut because it's Vanessa chopping off her hair that makes her mother take note of what her daughter might be going through.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Tony. He is the root of why Stacey and the others turned on Vanessa, but he is inconsequential to the film overall and largely is a means to an end. It's likely Vanessa would have still been bullied without him in the mix (given both Nikki and Stacey's own senses of insecurity and jealousy), but his stroking her face while flirting with her only fueled the fire (although neither he nor Nessa knew anyone was watching).
  • Victim-Blaming: Stacey repeatedly says it's Vanessa's fault their friendship is strained, because she's just being too sensitive to the bullying.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Vanessa considers Stacey her best friend until Stacey abruptly turns on her.
  • With Friends Like These...: Even at the start, it can seem a bit baffling how this group of girls came to be friends. And indeed, it doesn't take long for Stacey and Nikki to turn on Vanessa.
  • Woman Scorned: Stacey and Nikki start to turn against Vanessa when Tony shows interest in her instead of in Stacey.