Back in 2000, a pretty glorious movie appeared in theaters. It was about girl power and feminism and standing up for yourself and falling in love and friendship and following your dreams. But it was also about cheerleading, and that was originally why you fell hard for this film. You probably saw it at least once in the theater and have watched it about a million times since, and it's not only fun and funny and sweet but pretty quotable, too. Of course, this movie is Bring It On, and it's hard to believe that it's been 16 years since its premiere. It honestly feels like just yesterday that you were watching the Toros try to beat the Clovers and you were trying your own version of Spirit Fingers (even though it was always pretty hard to do...). Here are 15 reasons why Bring It On will forever be your favorite movie on the planet, no doubt about it.
15 It's Empowering
You may not think that a cheerleading movie could possibly be empowering or even the least bit feminist. But that's exactly what makes this movie work so well. At first, Torrance (best name ever) is dating the worst guy ever, even though of course she doesn't know it. Her boyfriend went away to college and she discovers him in bed with another girl. Ouch. But this movie moment proved to you and your best friends that you didn't have to stand for a lying, cheating guy and that you should always stand up for yourself in love and life. At first, of course, it was devastating, but she learns to love herself and that she deserves true love... and she finds it by the time the end credits roll. Awww.
14 It's About Love
Of course, a cheerleading-focused movie doesn't have to be about love, and it probably still would have been a pretty stellar film if Tor didn't have a near love interest. But naturally, this being Hollywood, Tor totally falls for new girl Missy's cute and sweet and funny brother, Cliff. Cliff isn't exactly anything like Tor's old boyfriend, and that's exactly why she can't help her attraction to him. He's real and he's not all about popularity and all the things that Tor has been taught to love and chase. She learns that real love is possible and important and that you really should follow your heart and allow yourself to like who you like, not who society tells you to, not who you think you should. That's a really big lesson for anyone watching.
13 It's About Friendship
Opposites attract in love and life, and even though you may think of that saying only when it comes to relationships, it's true of friends, too. At first, Tor doesn't think she was going to get along with the new girl Missy. Missy, of course, is pretty much the opposite of a cheerleader. She's raw and real and dark and thinks it's pretty much a load of crap. She and Tor totally bond in their disgust over the fact that their cheerleading team stole routines from the amazingly talented Clovers, and soon they're basically having sleepovers and chatting about everything (in their own way, of course). It's a really endearing thing because it proves to you that you don't always have to be exactly like the people that you choose to call your friends. In fact, you should have some differences, because that's what make the friendship so much stronger.
12 It's About Doing What's Right
You already know the best scene in the whole film: when Missy gets Tor to drive across town with her to see what she already knows - that the Toros have totally ripped off all their cheers and routines from another amazing squad, the Clovers. It's a moment for movie history and you never forget it. The look of sheer horror and confusion and disbelief on Tor's face honestly says it all, and it's a pretty powerful scene. She's super mad and she and Missy team up to make sure that they have original but still good routines so they can compete. This really proves that you have to do what's right, no matter how cheesy it may sound, and no matter how much you might not want to. What's right isn't always the easy thing to do, after all -- in fact, it's usually the worst thing that you can possibly imagine. But you know in your heart and head that you have to go down that path.
11 It's Just Sporty Enough
Cheerleading is definitely a sport and while it has never gotten tons and tons of respect, it seems like since this movie people are catching on to the fact that it's not a joke. It takes a lot of hard work, long practices, belief, and willpower. It's not for the faint of heart in any way, shape or form. But the movie is just sporty enough. It's not so sporty that you're super bored, because let's be real here, you're probably not super into sports and you don't really want your entertainment to be all about that, either. You spend enough time trying to get your BF to watch something other than baseball, basketball or hockey (but that's another story). It's a really inspiring movie though because when you see the crazy routines and dance moves that these girls can do, you totally believe you could do that, too... even though you probably can't.
10 It's Motivating
It's absolutely impossible to watch Bring It On at any age -- whether when you watched it for the first time when you were a pre-teen or you're watching it for nostalgia's sake today - and not want to totally follow your dreams. You want to kick some butt, basically, just like the Toros end up doing. They go for their goals, they figure out how to succeed even when all hope seems lost and things don't go according to plan, and they never, ever give up. That's pretty much Hollywood's all-time favorite plot: when characters want something and refuse to give up. You can apply that attitude to literally anything that's going on in your own life. Want a new job? Keep sending out resumes and going on interviews until you score your dream position. Want a new boyfriend? Don't give up dating.
9 It's Hilarious
You can't not laugh when you hear a phrase like "it's a cheerocracy!" And, of course, you've forever been quoting "Brrr, it's cold in here, there must be some Clovers in the atmosphere." When you think about it, that's not even that genius of a line, but for some reason you and your friends have just always loved it so much. Oh well. Some things just can't and shouldn't be explained. You just know that if you ever want to cheer up your BFF, you can text her a line from Bring It On or suggest that she watch it while drinking wine and eating ice cream. It works every time. Plus you can't forget Missy's made-up cheer: she responds to Tor's cheer with, "I transferred from Los Angeles, your school has no gymnastics team, this is a last resort!" When Tor looked freaked out, Missy says in her perfect snarky tone, "Okay, so I never cheered before. So what? What about doing something that actually requires neutrons?"
8 It's Early 2000s Gold
Since the movie came out in 2000, that pretty much still makes it a 90s movie since it always takes a few years for society to get used to a new decade. That's basically the rule. So it's no wonder that this movie is total early 2000s gold. It's got the weird clothes and hairstyles from that hybrid time period: the belly shirts 0f the 90s and the crimped hair and weird gothic make-up and dark lipstick, but it's also got the bright colors that were definitely the 2000s. It was a very confusing yet special and charming time, what can you say. You can watch it anytime you're in the mood to get all nostalgic and remember what it was like when you were 12 or 13 or however old you were when you first saw this glorious film. You will never be disappointed when you watch it again, unlike a ton of other movies.
7 It's Quirky
Of course, no discussion of the glory of Bring It On is complete without talking Sparky... and, in particular, his spirit fingers. OMG the spirt fingers. You and your besties totally tried to imitate them, but the thing about spirit fingers? They kind of hurt. They're not as easy to do as they look. So you were kind of embarrassed that you couldn't copy them so well, and then you were embarrassed about being embarrassed. It was a whole big thing. But honestly, Sparky and his spirit fingers and his crazy weird routine are just comedy gold, and they honestly make this movie. It wouldn't be the same without them... especially when there's that great twist at the end that, oops, he teaches every single group that he works with the exact same cheer. Oh well. The quirky moments are what make this movie worth watching, no matter how many times you cue it up.
6 It's About Learning Who You Are
What's cool about a character like Tor is how much you really see her change from the opening credits until the final ones. She's kind of a brat at the beginning of the film -- she's all about being popular, being beloved and being the best cheerleader ever. She thought that being a cheerleader and being the captain made her the most amazing person to ever walk this earth, and that's just not a good look on anyone. She wasn't open to new people or new things or experiences, and it took a while to warm up to someone like Missy, who could honestly see through her phoniness. Eventually, Tor realizes that her entire life (at least her cheerleading one) has been a lie and that she has to smarten up and make some changes. By the end of the film, she's honestly a really good, kind person, and that's pretty cool to see.
5 It's Feminist
At first glance, it doesn't seem feminist, but it totally is because in the beginning of the movie, the girls are calling each other nasty names and being absolutely mean and ridiculous. But by the end of the film, they realize that, hey, that's not the greatest way to act and that women should always stand by each other and totally support each other. That's a pretty beautiful thing to watch in any movie, but especially one about something that has the power to be as sexist as cheerleading. The movie is definitely a great lesson for a woman of any age that you should never call another female an awful name, you should never be jealous of what someone else has, and you should always be kind and compassionate. Name calling isn't cute, it's basically being a big old bully.
4 It's The Right Amount Of Cheesy
Let's talk about the cheers because they totally deserve a category all of their own. These cheers are nothing short of absolutely hilarious, amazing, and super cheesy. It's actually hard to believe that people would say these words and not have any issues with them, because when you watch the cheers, you can't believe it's not super humiliating. So you were totally conflicted growing up because you wanted to be a cheerleader just like Tor but you also didn't want to say such ridiculous cheers. Talk about a huge dilemma. But there's something kind of great about these cheers at the same time because they make the cheerleaders sound so totally overconfident and even full of themselves. Which was probably the point. So yeah, one of those don't try this at home moments.
3 It's Comforting
The best movies are the ones from your childhood or teenage years, the ones that you could literally watch a billion times and never get sick of them. They're movies that will cheer you up after a bad date or break-up, that will make you feel better when you're in bed with an epic cold, that will never bore or annoy you. Bring It On is totally and completely that movie, and it's always your absolute favorite because it's just so incredibly comforting. It's basically the movie form of comfort food -- like mac and cheese with bacon or sweet potato fries. Okay, now you're hungry. The thing about this movie is that it honestly holds up really well, no matter what year or decade it is. It doesn't feel dated in the least. And that's pretty awesome, considering how many things change in both society and your own life.
2 It Pokes Fun At Itself
When you watch this movie, you get the feeling that the characters are totally in on the joke -- that they know that while they're doing those ridiculous cheers or saying the craziest phrases, they understand they're being a bit silly. It's a really great lesson that no matter who you are or what you're doing or what's going on in your own world, you should always keep your sense of humor. Keep poking fun at yourself because that's honestly going to enrich your life so much. Sometimes you just have to do something even when you know it's kind of dumb or you know it's going to embarrass you -- like when the Toros realize that, oops, the routine they're competing with is the exact same as another cheerleading team.
1 It's About Knowing Your Worth
The head of the Clovers, Isis, is a pretty inspiring and awesome character because she honestly knows her own worth. She's been aware of the Toros for ages now, of course, and she knows that they've been stealing her routines and cheers. But she doesn't let that drag her down. A lesser person would fall into bed and cry forever, and refuse to keep going. But she doesn't give up, and she doesn't think that she's any worse than the Toros. She knows that she deserves respect and that she and her girls are super talented, and she makes sure that they know it, too. That's a really powerful lesson for young girls to see, but you can still learn it at your own age, because you're always going to be competing with other women for different things. Isis is a great reminder that if you know that you're doing good things, that's all that matters.