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Mean Girls phone scene
Lorne Michaels Productions

The Impact of Mean Girls




Mean Girls originally premiered in 2004, and it still holds relevance in pop culture as a cult classic. The book-turned-film has various spinoffs, including a sequel and a Broadway musical. How has the movie impacted pop culture in other ways?

Grande’s Ode to Her Exes

Ariana Blow Kiss

In 2018, Ariana Grande released her song, “thank u, next” along with its corresponding music video. The video had references to various cult classics including, Legally Blonde, Bring It On, 13 Going on 30, and notably Mean Girls. Grande even had Jonathan Bennett in the video, who played Aaron Samuels in the original movie. She had Kris Jenner play the mom, who was holding the camera during the Christmas show scene. 

Megan Thee Stallion’s Coach Commercial

Coach debuted its Fall 2021 collection using its brand ambassador, Megan Thee Stallion, and a parody of Mean Girls. In the commercial, Megan takes on the role of Regina George as she twerks on a football field in a matching sweatshirt and mini skirt combo. Classmates share gossip inspired by moments of the cult classic. One even said, “Her nails are so long, she accidentally gouged my eye out. And it was awesome!”

Tina Fey’s sketch on Saturday Night Live

In 2018, Tina Fey hosted Saturday Night Live, and there was a sketch about Mean Girls. Fey mentions how writing the musical version for Broadway was a dream that came true for her. The thing that was awkward for her was that people would come to her and ask, “Why aren’t you in [the Broadway musical]? When are you gonna be in it?” The sketch features Fey attempting to rehearse with the Broadway cast, and she even compares herself to Lin-Manuel Miranda. 

The Quotable Quotes

People seem to love quoting Mean Girls as they are unforgettable. Who can forget when Gretchen tried to make “fetch” happen? The quotes, and the movie as a whole, are relatable in the eyes of its audience. The movie is full of memorable quotes that are still used as part of memes today.

Social Media makes it more of a cult classic

get in loser mean girls
Paramount Pictures

Social media is responsible for the continuing popularity of many things, one being Mean Girls. If you scour the internet, you can see the use of gifs, quotes, and memes made from Mean Girls. There was this scene where Regina George had complimented Cady, and Cady had said, “I know.” Regina responded, “So, you agree?” That scene has made its rounds on social media as a meme for some time. The use of Mean Girls in viral and funny moments helps solidify its status as a cult classic.

Real-Life Impact

According to a 2014 Independent article, Lacey Chabert, who played Gretchen Wieners, experienced the impact first hand. Even after ten years of the film being released, people would come to Chabert and recite some of the dialogue from the movie. Also, thousands of people would send her messages via social media daily; on Wednesdays, people would send pictures of themselves wearing pink. 

Its impact on political figures

Mean Girls has even managed to have its effects on political figures. Back when Tumblr was still a thing, Barack Obama had made a post about presidential debates using a gif from Mean Girls — a gif of Cady telling Aaron Samuels that “it’s October 3rd.” In 2013, he tweeted a photo of his dog with an infamous Mean Girls quote. Hilary Clinton got in on the Mean Girls fun in 2019 when she used a gif of Regina George asking, “Why are you so obsessed with me?” This shade was aimed at Donald Trump, who always seems to have Clinton as a topic of discussion.

Mean Girls has been a point of reference in pop culture, ever since its release in 2004. The movie has cemented its place as a cult classic with the help of social media, nostalgia, pop culture, and severe fandom. Its icon status is so fetched.

Chinyere (sha-near-ruh) is a senior at DePaul University. She has been writing for Her Campus DePaul since October 2019. Chinyere has been a Social Media Director for the chapter's Twitter every other week for the past year. Going into her senior year, she's been promoted to Senior Social Media Director. She enjoys anything journalism-related, watching the Cleveland Browns, and playing ultimate frisbee and tennis in her free time. Plus, she enjoys watching reality TV shows, Marvel shows on Disney+, and raving about Manifest.
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