Have you ever heard the opening notes of a song and they remind you of something specific? Have you looked at the color pink and smiled to yourself because you suddenly realize you associate pink with Wednesday? Associating a day of the week with a color sounds like an odd concept, but there exists a film which holds an infinite amount of power to do so. At its core, the legendary teen comedy Mean Girls may only be a film, but in the years since it was released in theaters, the film, written by the hilarious comedian Tina Fey, and starring a "queen of the big screen" Lindsay Lohan, Mean Girls has become a cultural phenomenon, introducing the world to a new vocabulary, bonding so many viewers together around how difficult high school can be, and inspiring so many of us to wear pink on a specific day of the week.
Mean Girls is such an important movie for multiple generations not only because of the countless elements which make the film a staple within popular culture but for the many important lessons the movie can teach us about surviving high school, how to become the best versions of ourselves we can possibly be, and even the simplest of reminders; your parents are special, and letting them take a first day of school photo like Cady Heron does despite how embarrassing it may be, means so much!
Let's look back on the film's coolest and most valuable lessons and advice!
20 Know Your Real Friends
Starting a new school comes with countless possibilities, but don't worry if the thought of meeting friends who will have an impact on your life for the next four years feels overwhelming! If the sight of Janis' diagram of the North Shore High School cliques fills you with anticipation, don't worry!
Meeting people may seem scary, but the more people you meet, the faster you will find out the types of pals you want by your side while you navigate those tricky halls of high school. Don't be afraid to be yourself, so you can find your Janis and Damien!
19 Secret Languages Are So Fetch
Fourteen years after its release, Mean Girls has become a cultural phenomenon for many reasons, but a unique aspect of its appeal is the limitless amount of quotes from the film. The sayings from the film have become such a fixture in our vocabularies and hold the power to bring people together, even many years later.
Do you and your group of girls have a secret language? Do you have the ability to look at each other and read each other's minds? Those fun and unique aspects of friendships that strengthen and tighten them are so important and so special!
18 Trust Your Instincts
Do you remember those mantras your Mom used to tell you that would be along the lines of "there's only one person like you so treat yourself with kindness?" No matter how cliche these mantras may sound, she was right!
Knowing who you are and listening to the voice inside your head telling you what feels wrong or right is super crucial, and it's important never to ignore it!
In the film, Cady is confronted with several situations which make her uncomfortable, but she ignores her inner voice to please The Plastics. Trusting your instincts is always the right answer!
17 Embrace Your Imperfections
From the moment Janis meets Cady, she makes it her mission to take her new friend under her wing, and she spends the entire film working to make sure Cady is comfortable with fitting into the routine of North Shore, even when Cady is more concerned with trying to please Regina. We quickly learn from the beginning of the film Janis doesn't care about adhering to the rules of school social circles; she's more concerned about being herself and embracing what makes her a unique individual!
If others see you embrace what makes you unique, they'll look up to you!
16 Family Is Forever
We can totally relate to the opening scene of Mean Girls where Cady's parents emotionally send her off to her first day in the "jungle" of public school! Even though we may think our parents were being annoying on our first days of school, it's good to remember our parents know and understand the journey of what it's like being a teen in high school.
It's easy to believe our parents have no idea what it's like to relate to us, but they have traveled this road before; just like we learned from Cady's Dad, our parents give valuable advice!
15 Never Change For Anyone
When Cady meets The Plastics, she's catapulted into "Girl World" for the first time.
She's faced with their unbreakable rules of popularity and survival, but she knows deep down it's more important to be a good person than to always wear pink on Wednesdays!
Cady spends the film attempting to understand all of the rules the Plastics try and enforce, even when she feels uncomfortable. Sometimes high school can be filled with moments where we feel uncomfortable because of peer pressure; despite how hard it may feel, standing up for what you think, even if it's unpopular, is always best.
14 Teachers Are People Too
Have you ever heard of the common myth of teachers living at school, and their whole lives revolve around nothing but school-related activities? Mean Girls' beloved Ms. Norbury, played by Tina Fey, definitely squashed this stereotype! We genuinely see Ms. Norbury connect with her students and she truly cares about Cady's success, and she wants her to thrive as a member of the mathletes; our teachers really desire to see us succeed, because they truly have our best interest in mind.
Teachers totally understand what it's like to be in our shoes! Take the time to listen to their advice.
13 Encouraging Mantras Are Important
Do you have something encouraging you tell yourself to get through the difficult times? Asking this question to Mean Girls fans might result in chants of "You go Glen Coco!" Glen Coco had the power; we don't know what Glen Coco did, but she racked up a bunch of candy canes! In a world ruled by Regina George, doing your best is commendable!
Treating yourself nicely is important. Finding an encouraging mantra to motivate yourself to succeed can help you continue to succeed no matter what happens in your daily lives! Whenever you need it, an encouraging mantra will help.
12 Creativity Is Cool
We find out Janis is an extremely talented artist, and she creates a painting of her best friends, including Cady, despite Cady being preoccupied with trying to mess with The Plastics. Cady realizes she needs to be more present in her good friend's life because Janis brings so much enlightenment to her life.
If you're like Janis and you have a creative brain, embrace your creative talents!
Making art can serve as an extremely relaxing activity or it can serve as a way of understanding yourself and everything going on around you. People will also admire your talents, as well!
11 Halloween Can Be Spooky
Of course, Halloween can be on the spooky side but Mean Girls' iconic tribute to the mysterious holiday definitely redefined October 31 for many of us!
The Plastics' Halloween party is spooky in every sense of the word. Cady navigates her school's social world for the first time outside of the hallway where she realizes Regina didn't keep her promise to talk to the hunky Aaron Samuels for Cady. Despite all of the cattiness from the party, Aaron compliments Cady's unique and memorable "zombie bride" costume.
Social gatherings may be a bit uncomfortable, but there's still so much to experience!
10 The Mall Is A Social Hub
In a world dominated by our favorite Instagram and Snapchat filters, going to the mall to hang out may seem old-school, but don't let this idea deter you!
Cady gets her first glance at what it's like to live life as a Plastic while walking around the mall, and it's the first time she understands how much power Regina George holds over everyone.
Going to the mall with a new group of friends will give you a chance to get to know them! Different stores provide different worlds and opportunities to understand your new clique; walk and talk! It works!
9 People Have Actual Feelings
The famous "is butter a carb?" sequence in the film where Regina ponders what she eats because she's unhappy with her appearance is quite important; despite being incredibly popular, we learn Regina is a person too, and she experiences some incredibly human moments while she struggles with Cady.
Taking a minute to pause and think about what you're saying to your friends before saying it is extremely important. Words have a lot of meaning, and what you're saying might mean something different to the person you're talking to than it means to you! You never know what someone is thinking.
8 Even Important People Love It
A surefire sign that a piece of media holds a significant meaning in history would be imagining the First Family gathering around to watch a movie and celebrate its cultural significance!
The White House posted an Instagram photo back in 2013 of the "first dog" Bo Obama with the caption "Bo, stop trying to make 'fetch' happen!"
When a film receives this level of attention, it's a sign it is worth checking out! In your downtime, it's so important to unwind with a piece of art which makes you feel relaxed in a busy world! That's so fetch.
7 Girls Can Do Math, Too
Unfortunately, so many stereotypes exist in high school and whether we like it or not, our social worlds and experiences can be defined by them. In the film, Cady knows she has a talent in math, but she ignores Ms. Norbury's invitations to join the mathletes because she was preoccupied with securing her place in the most popular and respected clique in high school.
Later, Cady realizes how happy she is when she finally embraces her talent, and she decides to join the team. One of the biggest lessons we can learn is to try our best to ignore stereotypes!
6 Shakespeare Relates To High School
The next time you have the urge to fall asleep during English class, try and see if you can relate what you're reading and learning about to the events you're currently experiencing.
One of the underrated scenes and aspects of Mean Girls happens when Gretchen Weiners is struggling outside of the classroom with Regina George, and she's totally consumed with the drama while giving a report on Shakespeare.
Learning can be more insightful and much less boring when you are able to figure out how your homework relates to your life so you can get more out of the experience!
5 Three-Way-Calling Was Dangerous
These days, we catch up with our friends after school over FaceTime or send cute Snaps while standing at our lockers; it's hard to imagine not to see our friends visually. In the vintage days of 2004, The Plastics conversed with each other through an olden-day method of three-way calling. Watching the scene these days probably evokes a mixture of laughter over the outdated communication methods and the tinge of feeling familiarly uncomfortable over the feeling of wondering what your friend might be thinking. If the constant communication gets overwhelming, try to take a step back to be alone!
4 Moms Can Be Cool
If your mom has ever seen Mean Girls, she has probably said Amy Poehler's famous "I'm not like a regular mom, I'm a cool mom" line at some point. When we watch the scene of The Plastics go to Regina's house for the first time to meet her mother, it's surprising to watch how animated and relatable Regina's mom is to The Plastics.
Obviously, Mrs. George's character is a little exaggerated, but she illustrates that moms can be relatable and they're actually human beings. Be patient with your mom because she knows what it's like to be in your shoes.
3 Dating Your Friend's Ex Can Be Hard
Understanding and remembering the rules of "girl world" is one of the hardest aspects for Cady to adjust to when she starts public school for the first time. Even though Mean Girls is only a film, the idea of social status and social rules exists in real life. Cady develops a crush on Aaron Samuels who she quickly discovers is Regina's ex-boyfriend. Gretchen screams, "It's just like the rules feminism" in response.
Difficult situations like having a crush on your friend's guy are tricky. Always be honest and talk openly with your friend; hiding your feelings never works out.
2 Rock Your Own Style
It's pretty hard to talk about Mean Girls without bringing up a reference to The Plastics' sacred and unbreakable rule of wearing pink on Wednesdays!
As simple as wearing pink outfits may seem, The Plastics really enjoyed creating and enforcing this rule, because wearing pink was a way they could identify with themselves and feel unique in the world of high school, even though everyone seemed to look up to them.
If pink isn't your color and you identify more on the gothic Janis side of things, own it! It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks; your style is important.
1 Boo To Burn Books
At first glance, it just seems like a pink book, but the "burn book" perhaps turns out to be the biggest character in Mean Girls and the biggest symbol of change for many characters. From the moment Regina introduces the "burn book" to Cady, its content takes a life on its own.
The pages are filled with mean-spirited dialogue and we later learn it has an impact on every member of the North Shore student body.
If you ever see anything at your school like it, speak up! Everyone's feelings are important and everyone matters! There's no room for negativity.