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Every Must-Watch Teen Movie That Inspired Netflix’s “Do Revenge”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Growing up, I always said that if I could have lived in any other era, it would be the 90s. Is it because of the way movies like Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You glamorized high school and bred imperfect fictional icons for teen girls to idolize? Maybe. Films like this stopped being made after the early 2000s — until writer-director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson dug up the teen movie time capsule and fashioned something that manages to capture all the things that made them so special. Do Revenge is a new Netflix Original and delightful mosaic of 90s teen nostalgia and relevant Gen Z influences. I’ve compiled a list of every teen movie that in some way (some more obvious than others) influenced the film.

Clueless (1995)
Paramount Pictures

One of the biggest elements that ties Do Revenge to Clueless is fashion. In fact, I haven’t seen such perfectly crafted, camp yet classy, costume design since Clueless. The color palette, the fun but subtle prints, the chic schoolgirl outfits — all of it was chef’s kiss. In both Clueless and Do Revenge, a fashionable wardrobe comes with power. Newly made-over Eleanor, slowly transforms into one of the most popular girls in school — sound familiar? The power struggle that arises from a change in appearance (and identity) is a nod to Tai’s similar rise to popularity in Clueless.

Jawbreaker (1999)

Jawbreaker was one of the first immediately obvious inspirations for Do Revenge that I caught while watching. In another representation of the makeover cliché, Jawbreaker turns shy, strange Fern into the mysterious and alluring new student, Violet. Violet is Fern’s new identity and she fully becomes her. The similarities between Violet and Do Revenge’s Eleanor are uncanny, and it’s no coincidence. With chopped hair and a fresh new wardrobe, Eleanor tosses her quiet outcast identity out the window and fully adopts a new persona.

Mean Girls (2004)
Mean Girls phone scene
Lorne Michaels Productions

The “using the cool new girl as an instrument to get revenge on the queen bee and her clique” theme in this film may seem a little familiar. Many aspects of Do Revenge seem to subtly parallel the cultural classic, Mean Girls. The film captures the same over-the-top, dramatic effect that makes Mean Girls so comedic and camp. Both films display the makeover motif, which is a teen movie staple.

Cruel Intentions (1999)

With Sarah Michelle Gellar cast as the intimidating and blunt headmaster, Do Revenge’s nod to Cruel Intentions is an apparent one. The film’s scandalous and somewhat dark plot mirrors the 90s teen drama. In one scene we see a student reading Les Liaisons Dangereuses, the novel from which Cruel Intentions was adapted — a not-so-subtle easter egg.

10 Things I Hate About you (1999)
10 Things I Hate About You Julia Stiles Heath Ledger
Touchstone Pictures

One of the more subtle plot lines of Do Revenge seems to mirror 10 Things I Hate About You. A date between characters which quickly turns into a paint battle calls to mind the paintball scene from 10 Things I Hate About You, where Kat and Patrick share their first kiss. In Do Revenge, Russ is the outsider love interest with an accent, who happens to bear a few similarities to Heath Ledger’s Patrick.

Heathers (1988)

While Heathers isn’t a 90s or 2000s movie, it was the blueprint for the string of dark teen comedies that were released in the following decades. Both Heathers and Do Revenge portray a world where teen girls are evil, yet humane. The privileged and narcissistic characters aim to humiliate and get revenge on others, and the use of dark humor and anti-heroes makes both films amusing and somehow relatable.

Do Revenge brilliantly pulls from cultural teen favorites while still keeping its message relevant to its modern-day teen audience and current society. There are two aspects of Netflix’s Do Revenge that makes it great; one is its hyperbolic yet telling representation of cancel culture in today’s media-driven generation, and the second is its ability to prove every 90s teen movie fan who ever said “they just don’t make movies like that anymore,” wrong. 

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Isabel Persuitte

U Mass Amherst '25

Isabel is a Junior Communications and Journalism major concentrating in Public Relations at UMass. She has a passion for all things fashion, entertainment and culture. Her favorite pastimes include watching movies, taking photos and exploring coffee shops and hidden gems around Amherst!