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Mean Girls

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Mean Girls

Mean Girls
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mark Waters
Produced by Lorne Michaels
Screenplay by Tina Fey
Based on Queen Bees and Wannabes 
by Rosalind Wiseman
Starring Lindsay Lohan
Rachel McAdams
Lizzy Caplan
Lacey Chabert
Amanda Seyfried
Tina Fey
Narrated by Lindsay Lohan
Music by Rolfe Kent
Cinematography Daryn Okada
Edited by Wendy Greene Bricmont
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • April 30, 2004 (2004-04-30)
Running time 97 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $17 million[2]
Box office $129 million[2]

Mean Girls is a 2004 American teen comedy film directed by Mark Waters. The screenplay was written by Tina Fey and is based in part on Rosalind Wiseman's non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes, which describes female high school social cliques and the damaging effects they can have on girls.

The film stars Lindsay Lohan and features a supporting cast of Tina Fey, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried (in her film debut), and Lizzy Caplan. The film was produced by Saturday Night Live (SNL) creator Lorne Michaels. Screenwriter and co-star of the film, Tina Fey, was a long-term cast member and writer for SNL. Also featuring appearances from SNL cast members Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer, and Amy Poehler, the film marks Lohan's second collaboration with director Waters, the first one being Freaky Friday (2003), released a year earlier. Although set in Illinois, the film was mostly shot in Toronto, Canada.

The film grossed $129 million worldwide and has developed a cult following.[3][4][5][6][7][8]


Cady Heron is a 16-year-old homeschooled daughter of zoologist parents. They have returned to the United States after a 12-year research trip in Africa, settling in Evanston, Illinois and having Cady attend public school for the first time. New classmates Janis and Damian warn Cady to avoid the school's most exclusive clique, the Plastics, who are led by queen bee Regina George. The Plastics take an interest in Cady, however, and start to invite her to sit with them at lunch. Seeing that Cady is slowly becoming one of The Plastics, Janis hatches a plan of revenge against Regina, using Cady as the infiltrator.

Cady soon learns about Regina's "Burn Book", a notebook filled with rumors, secrets, and gossip about the other girls and some teachers. Cady also falls in love with Regina's ex-boyfriend, Aaron Samuels, whom a jealous Regina steals back at a Halloween party. Cady continues with Janis's plan to cut off Regina's "resources", which involve separating her from Aaron; tricking her into eating nutrition bars that make her gain weight; and turning Regina's fellow Plastics – insecure rich girl Gretchen Wieners and sweet but ditzy Karen Smith – against her. In the process, Cady unwittingly remakes herself in Regina's image, becoming spiteful and superficial and abandoning Janis and Damian.

Cady hosts a party at her own house one weekend while her parents are away. Though the party is intended to be a small get-together, a large number of people show up. While waiting for Aaron to appear, Cady drinks too much punch before finally finding him. She explains to him that she was purposefully failing math just so she could have an excuse to talk to him, but this only angers Aaron, saying that Cady's no better than Regina. Cady vomits on Aaron because of the excessive amount of punch she had earlier. While Cady chases after an infuriated Aaron, Janis and Damian, who are upset that Cady lied to them about not being able to attend Janis's art show that day, show up. Cady tries to explain her motives, but Janis says that Cady has become worse than the Plastics by hiding a spiteful personality behind her cute and innocent facade.

When Regina is finally made aware of Cady's treachery, she responds by spreading around the contents of her Burn Book, quickly inciting a riot. To avoid suspicion, Regina inserts a fake libel of herself into the book in order to blame the only female students not mentioned in the book, The Plastics. Principal Ron Duvall soon quells the riot, and ends up sending all the girls in the school to gather in the gymnasium. Math teacher Sharon Norbury, whom the Burn Book slandered as a drug dealer, makes the girls mentioned in the book fess up to the rumors and apologize to the other students and teachers. When Janis's turn comes, she confesses her plan to destroy Regina with Cady's help and openly mocks Regina with the support of the entire school. Pursued by an apologetic Cady, Regina storms out and gets hit by a school bus, breaking her spine.

Without any friends, shunned by Aaron, and distrusted by everyone, Cady takes full blame for the Burn Book. Her guilt soon dissolves and she returns to her old personality. As part of her punishment for lying and failing Norbury's class, she joins the Mathletes in their competition. There, while competing against an unattractive girl, Cady realizes that mocking the girl's appearance would not stop the girl from beating her. She then realizes that the best thing to do is just solve the problem in front of you and ends up winning the competition after her opponent answers incorrectly. At the Spring Fling dance, Cady is elected Queen, but declares that all her classmates are wonderful in their own way, whereupon she breaks her plastic tiara and distributes the pieces. Cady makes amends with Janis and Damian, reconciles with Aaron, and reaches a truce with the Plastics.

By the start of the new school year, the Plastics have disbanded. Regina joins the lacrosse team, Karen becomes the school weather reporter, and Gretchen joins the "Cool Asians." Aaron graduates from high school and attends Northwestern University, Janis and Kevin Gnapoor begin dating, and Cady declares that she is now herself. Regina walks past Cady and smiles, showing that they made peace with each other. Damian witnesses the new "Junior Plastics" walking by, but they are immediately hit by a bus. It turns out, however, that this was only a humorous figment of Cady's imagination.




Tina Fey read Rosalind Wiseman's Queen Bees and Wannabes and called Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels to suggest it could be turned into a film. Michaels contacted Paramount Pictures, who purchased the rights to the book. As the book is nonfiction, Fey wrote the plot from scratch, borrowing elements from her own high school experience. The real Janis Ian was one of the first musical guests on the first Saturday Night Live episode, in which she sang the song At Seventeen, which can be heard playing in the background when the girls are fighting at Regina's house. Other characters bullying Caplan's character persistently call her a lesbian throughout the film; the real Janis Ian is an out lesbian.[9]


Rachel McAdams was cast as Regina because Fey felt McAdams being "kind and polite" made her perfect for such an evil-spirited character. Amanda Seyfried also read for Regina, and the producers instead suggested her for Karen due to Seyfried's "spacey and daffy sense of humor". Both Lacey Chabert and Daniel Franzese were the last actors tested for their roles. Lizzy Caplan was at first considered too pretty for the part of Janis, for which Fey felt a "Kelly Osbourne-like actress" was necessary, but Caplan was picked for being able to portray raw emotion. Fey wrote two roles based on fellow SNL alumni, Amy Poehler (whom Fey thought the producers would not accept for being too young) and Tim Meadows, and the cast ended up with a fourth veteran of the show, Ana Gasteyer.[9]


Although set in Evanston, Illinois, the film was mostly shot in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at Etobicoke Collegiate Institute and Malvern Collegiate Institute as well as Montclair, New Jersey at Montclair High School.[10] Notable landmarks include the University of Toronto's Convocation Hall and Sherway Gardens.


Box office

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $24,432,195 in 2,839 theaters in the United States, ranking #1 at the box office and averaging $8,606 per venue.[11] By the end of its run, Mean Girls grossed $86,058,055 and $42,984,816 internationally, totaling $129,042,871 worldwide.[2]

Critical response

The film received positive reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives it a rating of 83% based on 167 reviews,[12] and a rating of 66% on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews", based on 39 reviews.[13]


The film won and was nominated for a number of awards throughout 2004-05.[14]

Year Ceremony Category Recipients Result
2004 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Comedy Actress Lindsay Lohan Won
Choice Movie Breakout Actress Lindsay Lohan Won
Choice Movie Blush Lindsay Lohan Won
Choice Breakout Movie Star – Female Rachel McAdams Nominated
Choice Breakout Movie Star – Male Jonathan Bennett Nominated
Choice Movie – Comedy Nominated
Choice Movie Actress – Comedy Rachel McAdams Nominated
Choice Movie Blush Rachel McAdams Nominated
Choice Movie Chemistry Lindsay Lohan and Jonathan Bennett Nominated
Choice Movie Fight/Action Sequence Nominated
Choice Movie Hissy Fit Rachel McAdams Nominated
Choice Movie Liar Lindsay Lohan Nominated
Choice Movie Sleazebag Rachel McAdams Nominated
2005 MTV Movie Awards Best Female Performance Lindsay Lohan Won
Breakthrough Female Performance Rachel McAdams Won
Best On-Screen Team Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, and Amanda Seyfried Won
Best Villain Rachel McAdams Nominated
Kids Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actress Lindsay Lohan Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Movie: Comedy Nominated
Writers Guild of America Award Best Adapted Screenplay Tina Fey Nominated


Mean Girls: Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released September 21, 2004 (2004-09-21)
Genre Rock, pop
Length 49:17
Label Rykodisc
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars Link

Mean Girls: Music from the Motion Picture was released on September 21, 2004, the same day as the DVD release.

  1. "Dancing with Myself" by The Donnas (Generation X cover)
  2. "God Is a DJ" by Pink
  3. "Milkshake" by Kelis
  4. "Sorry (Don't Ask Me)" by All Too Much
  5. "Built This Way" by Samantha Ronson
  6. "Rip Her to Shreds" by Boomkat (Blondie cover)
  7. "Overdrive" by Katy Rose
  8. "One Way or Another" by Blondie
  9. "Operate" by Peaches
  10. "Misty Canyon" by Anjali Bhatia
  11. "Mean Gurl" by Gina Rene and Gabriel Rene
  12. "Hated" by Nikki Cleary
  13. "Psyché Rock", by Pierre Henry (Fatboy Slim Malpaso mix)
  14. "The Mathlete Rap" by Rajiv Surendra
  15. "Jingle Bell Rock"

Though not included on the soundtrack, other songs heard in the film include the single "Pass That Dutch" by Missy Elliott, "Naughty Girl" by Beyoncé, "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera, "Fire" by Joe Budden featuring Busta Rhymes, "At Seventeen" by Janis Ian, and "Halcyon + On + On" by Orbital and "Love's Theme" by The Love Unlimited Orchestra.

The film's orchestral score was written by Rolfe Kent and orchestrated by Tony Blondal. It featured taiko drums and a full orchestra.

Home media

Mean Girls was released on VHS and DVD in North America on September 21, 2004, five months after it opened in theaters. It was released in a widescreen special collector's edition and a fullscreen collector's edition, both including several deleted scenes, a blooper reel, three interstitials, the theatrical trailer, previews, and three featurettes.[15] A Blu-ray version of the film was released on April 14, 2009.

Legacy and cultural impact

The film has become a pop-culture phenomenon.[16][17] Fans have made GIFs and memes of the film and posted them on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.[18][19][20]

Mariah Carey expressed several times that she is a fan of the film, using some quotes from the film in several interviews. Carey released a single, "Obsessed", which begins with an interlude quote where she says, "And I was like, 'Why are you so obsessed with me?'", a line said by Regina in the film. Carey's husband, Nick Cannon revealed the song was inspired by the film itself.[21] She then referenced the film again in 2013 during an episode of American Idol.

In August 2013, the White House tweeted a quote from the film and made a reference to President Obama's dog, Bo.[22][23] Taco Bell tweeted a reply to the tweet, also using one of the quotes from the film.[24]

In an interview about the film, Fey noted, "Adults find it funny. They are the ones who are laughing. Young people watch it like a reality show. It's much too close to their real experiences so they are not exactly guffawing."[25]

At the 2013 People's Choice Awards, Jennifer Lawrence mentioned the film in her speech when she won "Favorite Movie Actress" [27]

October 3 has been dubbed on social media as "Mean Girls Day" in reference to a quote from the movie.[28]

Video game

A game for PC and Nintendo DS was released in 2009.[29] The video game features characters specifically created for the game.

Stand-alone sequel

A direct-to-DVD sequel, Mean Girls 2, was aired on ABC Family on January 23, 2011, and released on DVD on February 1. The film is a stand-alone sequel, and the plot does not continue the story of the first film nor does it have the same cast, with the exception of Tim Meadows. The film is directed by Melanie Mayron and stars Meaghan Martin and Jennifer Stone.

Mean Moms

In early 2014, Warner Bros. and New Line announced a planned release date of May 8, 2015 for a proposed spin-off of Mean Girls[30] with Jennifer Aniston in talks to lead.[31]

Adapted from another book penned by Rosalind Wiseman, Mean Moms would be written by Sean Anders and John Morris, directed by television veteran Beth McCarthy-Miller, and would star Jennifer Aniston as a mom facing the cut-throat life of modern suburbia. However, in May 2014, New Line Cinema pulled the film from its proposed release date of May 2015; even though the film is still slated for development, there is not currently a release date for the spin-off.[32] On October 7, it was announced that the film was added to the California Film Tax Credit program for the 2014-15 fiscal year, in which the production must start in California within 180 days of notification from the state to receive the $6.7 million production tax credit.[33]

Stage musical

On January 28, 2013, Fey confirmed that a musical adaption of Mean Girls is in the works. Tina Fey will be the writer and possibly the director of the musical while 30 Rock composer and Fey's husband Jeff Richmond, will work on the music. Paramount will be also involved.[34]

Potential sequel

In late September 2014 it was revealed that Lindsay Lohan pitched an idea to Mean Girls writer Tina Fey for a sequel. In October 2014, it was announced that Lohan convinced other cast members of the original film to persuade Fey to write a screenplay for a sequel. The idea was brought up during a 10th anniversary for the film in People magazine.[35]


  1. ^ (12A)"MEAN GIRLS".  
  2. ^ a b c "Mean Girls (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 23, 2010. 
  3. ^ Brody, Richard (April 30, 2014). "Why “Mean Girls” Is a Classic". The New Yorker. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  4. ^ Elan, Priya (January 29, 2013). "Why Tina Fey's Mean Girls is a movie classic". The Guardian. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  5. ^ "'Mean Girls' is still 'fetch'". Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  6. ^ Buchanan, Kyle (April 20, 2014). "Mean Girls Director Mark Waters Spills 10 Juicy Stories, 10 Years Later". Vulture. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Why Is Mean Girls So Quotable?". Slate. January 8, 2014. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  8. ^ Kimble, Julian (April 30, 2014). Mean Girls" Is Everything (No, Really): How One Movie Summarized a Generation""". Complex. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Only the Strong Survive", Mean Girls (DVD Featurette) 
  10. ^ Wilmot, Shannon (July 11, 2008). "Made in Toronto". Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  11. ^ "'Mean Girls' Topples 'Man'".  
  12. ^ Mean Girls at Rotten Tomatoes; Retrieved on September 24, 2009.
  13. ^ Mean Girls at Metacritic; Retrieved on September 24, 2009.
  14. ^ "Mean Girls Awards - List of awards won by Mean Girls, including award nominations". Retrieved June 16, 2013. 
  15. ^ Michaels, Lorne. Mean Girls (DVD video). Widescreen DVD collection. screenplay by Tina Fey; directed by Mark Waters; et al. Hollywood, California: Paramount Pictures Corporation ©2004.  
  16. ^ Orr, Gillian (April 30, 2014). "10 years of Mean Girls: How the film defined a generation - and gave it a new language". The Independent. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  17. ^ Mendelson, Scott (April 30, 2014). "Why 'Mean Girls' Still Matters, 10 Years Later". Forbes. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  18. ^ Goldstein, Jessica (April 25, 2014). "Why does — and will — ‘Mean Girls’ continue to endure online?". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  19. ^ Watercutter, Angela (April 30, 2014). "Why Mean Girls Has Obsessed the Internet for a Decade". Wired. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  20. ^ O'Neil, Lauren (October 3, 2014). "Mean Girls Day gets its own art show on Tumblr". CBC News. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  21. ^ Vena, Jocelyn; Kash, Tim (July 1, 2009). "'"Nick Cannon: Mariah Carey's Not Dissing Eminem In 'Obsessed.  
  22. ^ The White House (August 13, 2013). "Bo, stop trying to make fetch happen.". Twitter. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  23. ^ Waxman, Olivia B. (August 13, 2013). "The White House Made a Mean Girls Joke on Twitter and It Was Awesome". Time. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  24. ^ Taco Bell (August 13, 2014). "@whitehouse Do you wanna do something fun? You wanna go to Taco Bell?". Twitter. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  25. ^ "CANOE - JAM! - Weekend warrior". 2004-04-28. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  26. ^ Geier, Thom; Jensen, Jeff; Jordan, Tina; Lyons, Margaret; Markovitz, Adam; Nashawaty, Chris; Pastorek, Whitney; Rice, Lynette; Rottenberg, Josh; Schwartz, Missy; Slezak, Michael; Snierson, Dan; Stack, Tim; Stroup, Kate; Tucker, Ken; Vary, Adam B.; Vozick-Levinson, Simon; Ward, Kate (December 11, 2009), "THE 100 Greatest MOVIES, TV SHOWS, ALBUMS, BOOKS, CHARACTERS, SCENES, EPISODES, SONGS, DRESSES, MUSIC VIDEOS, AND TRENDS THAT ENTERTAINED US OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS". Entertainment Weekly. (1079/1080):74-84.
  27. ^ "50 Best High School Movies". September 15, 2006. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  28. ^ Grossman, Samantha (October 3, 2014). "It’s October 3rd: 19 Ways to Celebrate Mean Girls Day". Time. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Mean Girls Game Capitalizes on Film's Popularity, Lohan's Career - games for girls". Kotaku. April 12, 2010. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  30. ^ "Warner Bros Scheduling Spree Continues With ‘The Conjuring 2′, ‘Mean Moms’, 2 Others". 25 February 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  31. ^ McNary, Dave (25 February 2014). "Jennifer Aniston's 'Mean Moms' set for May 8, 2015". Variety. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  32. ^ McNary, Dave (8 May 2014). "Jennifer Aniston's 'Mean Moms' Delayed, New Line Foregoes $6.7 Million Tax Credit". Variety. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  33. ^ McNary, Dave (October 7, 2014). "‘Mean Moms,’ ‘Paternity Leave’ Score California Film Credits". Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  34. ^ "So Fetch! Tina Fey Confirms Mean Girls Musical In Early Development | Broadway Buzz". January 28, 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2013. 
  35. ^

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