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Trivia / Mean Girls

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The 2004 Film
  • Ability over Appearance: Lizzy Caplan almost didn't get the job, as the producers thought she was too pretty to play Janis. As such they gave her a more goth/alternative look rather than trying to dress her down.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Betsy Heron gets offered tenure at Northwestern. Her actress Ana Gasteyer's alma mater is Northwestern.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Gretchen's line "Oh my god, Karen, you can't just ask people why they're white" is often misquoted as "You can't just ask someone why they're white."
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  • Billing Displacement: When a Mean Girls game was announced for the Nintendo DS in 2009 (it was most likely cancelled at the last minute, at least in America), Lindsay Lohan, the film's star, wasn't on the cover. The tabloids had a field day with this. Ana Gasteyer who plays the minor role of Cady's mother is also credited before Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seyfried, two of the protagonists.
  • California Doubling: As Roger Ebert put it, "She enrolls in Evanston Township High School — which, like all American high schools in the movies, is physically located in Toronto."
  • Contractual Purity: The film's R-rated content was toned down when Lindsay Lohan was cast, as she was considered too family-friendly for such a raunchy film at the time. Likewise Lohan opted to play Cady rather than Regina, worrying about hurting her 'good girl' image.
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  • Corpsing: Watch Cady's face when Karen says, "My breasts can always tell when it's gonna rain." Lindsay Lohan is clearly cracking a smile.
  • Dawson Casting: Regina George is played by Rachel McAdams, who was 24-25 at the time of filming. Also, Lacey Chabert and Lizzy Caplan were both 21 when the film was made. Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Seyfried, however, were both teenagers at the time.
    • In the sequel, two of The Plastics - Mandi and Chastity - were played by actresses who were 22 at the time. Was subverted with Jo, Hope and Abby, played by actresses who were around the characters ages during filming.
  • Deleted Scene:
    • Cady tries to give Regina a Wardrobe Wound by having a friend rig her cafeteria table so that it tips and spills food into her lap when she sits down. However, Karen sits where Regina was supposed to, thus becoming the prank's victim.
    • Cady rigs the weighing scales to fool Regina into think she's lost weight.
    • An extended version of Cady at Aaron's house where it's revealed it's only him and his mother.
    • An Imagine Spot during the assembly where Cady imagines that Ms. Norbury says "your parents have been eaten by cannibals!"
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    • A longer version of the scene with well-wishers at Regina's bed. Her mother tells the congregation that Regina lost so much weight from being immobile that the doctors recommended Kalteen Bars. Regina gives a Big "NO!" and the army of people rush outside just as Cady comes to the door. She throws the bouquet of flowers inside as she's swept away by the crowd.
    • Just before going into the Spring Fling, Cady bumps into Regina in the bathroom. Regina says she's over the whole thing.
  • Fake American:
  • Image Source:
  • Market-Based Title: Is known as "Girls Club - Vorsicht bissig!" (the subtitle is a reference to warning signs denoting the presence of dangerous animals (usually dogs) in an enclosed area and roughly translates to "Caution, bites!") in Germany, where it's also pretty popular.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Neil Flynn, who was at this time well known as the sarcastic smartass Janitor on Scrubs plays Cady's loving, caring, affectionate and utterly clueless father.
    • Retroactively for Amanda Seyfried, who eventually became known for playing wholesome Girl Next Door types. Playing a Brainless Beauty who makes out with her first cousin is a tad different. She was nearly cast as Cady, which would have been within her eventual type.
    • Another retroactive example is Rachel McAdams, who generally plays kindhearted, down-to-earth characters, so it's a bit funny that one of her most well-known roles is that of a narcissistic Alpha Bitch.
    • Director example: Mark Waters usually has supernatural elements in his films. There are none in this.
    • Claire Holt was best known on Australian TV as the bossy, responsible Emma on H2O: Just Add Water - making a Really Gets Around character like Chastity quite different.
  • Playing Gertrude: Amy Poehler, who plays Regina/McAdams' mother despite being only 7 years older than her and 32 at the time of filming.
  • Production Posse: The movie was produced by Saturday Night Live co-creator and producer Lorne Michaels, and written by Tina Fey, who plays a supporting part, and also includes her SNL castmates Ana Gasteyer and Tim Meadows. She's also best friends with Amy Poehler.
  • Shout-Out: The bit about "sexually active band geeks" is pretty obviously referring to that one from Michelle in American Pie
  • Star-Making Role: At the time of its initial release, it was considered to be this for Lindsay Lohan. In the longer run however, Tina Fey was the one whose career really took off as a result of this film, with Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried also benefiting quite a bit, and the film instead being about the only thing people remember Lohan for, outside of her spectacular career meltdown in the following years.
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • It's telling that, in a Deconstructive Parody of high school cattiness and how even nice people get caught up in it, cyberbullying is never mentioned once, despite it becoming a hot topic by the end of the decade. Gretchen's cell phone (which only shows up in one scene) is a then-cutting-edge flip phone that's used to demonstrate how rich she is, the characters interact with and spread rumors about each other almost entirely through "low-tech" means (such as the "Burn Book", which is a physical, pen-and-paper journal as opposed to a private webpage or online group), and a "three-way calling attack" could only work in a time when landline phones were commonplace. In the early-mid '00s, even teenagers were just starting to get used to the internet and cell phones being omnipresent forces in their lives as opposed to novelties — Myspace had been launched just nine months before the film was released, and had yet to really take off — and this film's portrayal of technology marks it as a clear product of that immediate pre-Web 2.0 time.
    • The showcasing of Regina George and her family's materialistic life, while meant to show how empty and hollow her life truly was even in 2004, also marks the film as having been made before the Great Recession, when flaunting immense wealth was in style. While the scene of Regina's little sister shaking her booty to trashy pop-R&B still resonates in the age of Miley Cyrus and twerking (and the fact that said sister is named Kylie is Hilarious in Hindsight), the fact that she's shaking it to "Milkshake" by Kelis definitely doesn't (Forever Young Adult even called the film a "2004 musical time capsule" in their retrospective). Regina's mom is also shown wearing 'youthful' clothes in an attempt to be hip... which, in 2004, meant garish Juicy Couture sweatpants and tracksuits that, in hindsight, make her look even more pathetic.
    • The portrayal of the Ambiguously Gay Cool Losers Janis and Damian illustrates how attitudes towards LGBT people among teenagers were evolving in the early-mid '00s. Regina suspecting that Janis is a lesbian was enough to get her to kick Janis out of her social circle and spread rumors about her sexuality, leading to her present outcast status, while the Plastics list Janis in the Burn Book as a "dyke" and Damian as "too gay to function". This sort of casual homophobia on their part was shown as a sign of their Alpha Bitch tendencies even in 2004, but characters with such tendencies in 2014 would be portrayed as downright bigoted rather than merely callous, given that nowadays, homophobia is seen by teenagers as roughly on a par with racism. It illustrates how, while tolerance of LGBT people was growing, full equality and acceptance was still a ways away (this was the year when Massachusetts became the first US state to legalize same-sex marriage, an occasion that sparked controversy and moral panic), and being gay, or even Mistaken for Gay, could make somebody an outcast.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • In the original script, Gretchen was envisaged as plain-to-ugly (with a "sniveling whiny face") and part of the in-crowd solely for her wealth. Obviously, this was dropped when the very pretty Lacey Chabert was cast in the role, but traces of the original perception of the character can still be seen in the film in Regina's obvious surprise that Gretchen was nominated for Spring Fling Queen.
    • The film was a lot filthier before it was PG-13ified. See Bowdlerization on the main page.
    • Lindsay Lohan originally auditioned for Regina, while Rachel McAdams originally auditioned for Cady. Lohan was cast as Cady instead after Freaky Friday (2003) became a Star-Making Role for her, with the producers afraid that playing a villain would hurt her wholesome image, leaving the Regina role open for McAdams.
    • McAdams' main competition for the part of Regina, meanwhile, was Amanda Seyfried, who ultimately played Karen.
    • Ashley Tisdale auditioned for Karen, while James Franco auditioned for Aaron. A popular rumor claims that Scarlett Johansson also auditioned for Karen, and that she even did a line reading for the part, but this was debunked by Mark Waters; he had actually tested her for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, only for that film to fall into Development Hell for several years after Hurricane Katrina (it was to be shot in New Orleans).
    • Tina Fey was approached about sequels for years and refused to do them. When the actual sequel came out — and was met with Sequelitis reactions — she said she regretted not writing one.
  • Word of Dante: In an article for "Entertainment Weekly", the actresses were asked about what they imagined their characters doing a decade later.
    Karen: Manage or own a store that sells really cool dog attire, like Swarovski dog collars and Halloween costumes for animals.
    Cady: In Africa with Oprah working at children’s schools with family, teaching girls to be nice.
    Gretchen: Running the Toaster Strudel Empire. She has curly hair and worked everything out with Jason.
    Regina: She’s a Real Housewife and has found all her other Reginas.

The 2018 Musical
  • Acting for Two: Or rather, three; Ms. Norbury, Mrs. George, and Mrs. Heron are all played by the same actor.
  • Actor Allusion: Barrett Wilbert Weed playing an unpopular girl at a school with a three-girl ruling clique? Um, last we checked, SHE should be the one who ends up joining them.
  • Approval of God: Or "Approval of the Mother of God": When Kerry Butler in The Musical played Ms. Norbury on stage, Tina Fey's mother told her that Kerry has Tina down! (Not to mention a few people thought Kerry's portrayal was such they actually thought it WAS Tina on stage!)
  • Creator Couple: Tina Fey and Jeff Richmond, who wrote the book and music respectively, are married.
  • Cut Song: “Wildlife” (in place of "It Roars"),“Bossed Up” (in place of "Stop"), and “Here” (in place of "I See Stars").
  • Dawson Casting: The Musical plays it straight as their actors are all in their 20s at least.
  • He Also Did: She Also Did: Tee Boyich, who is the "super swing" that understudies Erika Henningsen (Cady), Ashley Park (Gretchen), Kerry Butler (Mrs. Heron/Mrs. George/Ms. Norbury) and Barrett Wilbert Weed (Janis) earlier got viral prominence as the woman who sang the opening part the early theme of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and known for the chorus "Unbreakable! They alive, dammit!" In this clip at the 3:00 mark, she's singing with Kyle Selig (Aaron) the part that got her early prominence (and he goes, "That's actually her.").
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": When the actresses who would be playing Cady and "The Plastics" in The Musical found out Kerry Butler would be joining the show (playing the three roles of Mrs. Heron/Mrs. George/Ms. Norbury), Erika Henningsen (Cady) said they were texting each other like "Oh My God! Legend Kerry Butler!"
    • Halloween 2017 had the younger actresses surprised Kerry with the theme for their Halloween Costumes: each of them was dressed in a previous role Kerry had played on Broadway during her long career! Erika was "Penny" (from "Hairspray the Musical"), Ashley Park (Gretchen) was "Belle" (from "Disney's Beauty and the Beast"), Kate Rockwell (Karen) was "Brenda Strong" (from "Catch Me If You Can The Musical"), and Taylor Louderman (Regina) was "Audrey" (from "Little Shop of Horrors"). There is a video in the link that shows how moved Kerry was—you must scroll through the picture collection to get to it though.


Example of: