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Mean Girls (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy  |  30 April 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 226,085 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 546 user | 160 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

Cady Heron is a hit with The Plastics, the A-list girl clique at her new school, until she makes the mistake of falling for Aaron Samuels, the ex-boyfriend of alpha Plastic Regina George.



(book), (screenplay)
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7 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Elana Shilling ...
Graham Kartna ...


Her parents being zoologists, Cady Heron has never known what "high school" truly meant. She lived her first 15 years in the African jungle, home-schooled, living life with only her parents and the animals of the wilderness, knowing all of the rules of survival. However, when she moves out of Africa, she has to learn the rules of high school, a jungle in itself. She instantly makes friends with two sweet teenagers, Damian and Janis, who, in the terms of the high school, were in the "out crowd." Soon she meets the Plastics, the three crude, beautiful, popular girls, consisting of Regina, the unofficial leader, Gretchen, Regina's full-time follower, and Karen, "one of the dumbest people you will ever meet." They immediately let her into their group, but Cady, wanting to keep her first friends, is unsure. The two convince Cady to keep her relationship with the Plastics, only so that they can know their dark secrets. However, events turn for the worse when Cady falls for Regina's ... Written by Michelle K. P.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Only the strong survive! See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, language and some teen partying | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




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Release Date:

30 April 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Queen Bees and Wannabes  »

Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$24,432,195 (USA) (30 April 2004)


$854,852 (France) (28 January 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Tina Fey envisioned backgrounds for all of the characters. If any of the actors had questions about their characters she could fill in the blanks for them. See more »


When Cady breaks her Spring Fling crown to give to the crowd she breaks a half off. There couldn't possibly be enough crown left for her to give the size pieces she gave. There was too little left. See more »


[first lines]
Chip Heron: This is your lunch, OK? I put a dollar in there so you can buy some milk; you can ask one of the big kids where to do that.
Betsy Heron: Do you remember your phone number? I wrote it down for you just in case. Put it in your pocket, I don't want you to lose it. OK? You ready?
Cady: I think so.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The senior artist credit is misspelled "SENIOR ARTITST". See more »


Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #18.50 (2010) See more »


Mean Gurl
Written and Produced by Gabriel Rene
Performed by Gina Rene and Gabriel Rene
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Being bad has never been so good....
24 January 2005 | by (Burke, VA) – See all my reviews

The teen-movie genre returns with "Mean Girls," and it comes back with a vengeance. What could have been a tired and clichéd retread of "Heathers" is actually a clever and witty flick thanks to the talents of screenwriter Tina Fey. Fey, head writer for "Saturday Night Live" and co-anchor of their "Weekend Update," has an amazing flair for satire, and what better way to showcase it than with a analytical glimpse at the world of high school cliques? Lindsay Lohan is Cady, the previously home-schooled daughter of two zoologists, growing up in the African wilderness while Mom and Dad conduct their research. When the 'rents decide to settle down, Cady gets her first taste of public schooling, which is almost as wild as the jungles and safaris she's used to. Cady is introduced to the different factions that populate the cafeteria—including the nympho band geeks, the nerdy Asians, the cool Asians, the varsity jocks and of course, the Plastics, teen royalty led by the manipulative Regina George (Rachel McAdams).

Cady is encouraged to infiltrate the Plastics by her new friends Janice (Lizzy Caplan), a gothy and arty outcast who possesses a Janaene Garafalo-style wit, and the flamboyantly out-and-proud Damian (Daniel Franzese), who fears the Plastics but admires their fabulousness. Cady agrees to the sabotage scheme, but it's not long before she succumbs to the glamorous life of the Plastics and starts to engage in their underhanded activities, such as writing in their "Burn Book," in which nasty (and hilarious) things are jotted down about every girl in their high school.

It all might sound like the typical teen fare, but the result is nothing like that. The cast is surprisingly flawless, from Lohan (who brings a depth to her role that Hilary Duff could only ever dream of achieving) to the entire supporting cast, which is filled with current "SNL" members and alums. Fey herself shows up along with Tim Meadows as sardonic members of the high school faculty, while Ana Gasteyer and Amy Poehler portray parents who just don't understand. Poehler steals every scene she's in as Regina's "cool mom," desperately trying to fit in by doing things like offering minors alcohol at her home, because she'd rather have them drinking there than somewhere else.

The younger members of the cast don't let the veterans walk away with the whole show though. Caplan and Franzese own their roles, Franzese particularly when Damian displays his adulation for Christina Aguilera during a holiday talent show. The other members of the Plastics shine as well. Besides the deliciously vindictive McAdams as the Queen Bee, the crew includes former "Party of Five" actress Lacey Chabert as the gossipy Gretchen and Amanda Seyfried as the clueless Karen, who's not above making out with her first cousin (because "there's cousins, and then there's first cousins and second cousins…").

Fey, with the help of director Mark Waters ("Freaky Friday," "The House of Yes"), has infused the film with her trademark comedic brilliance. The jokes and gags come at a break-neck pace, but the punch lines aren't the only hilarious aspects. Little touches such as Gretchen's dad being the inventor of Toaster Strudels and Regina's MTV obsessed little sister are details that will inspire laughter long after the movie is over. Even the particulars about the background characters should provide endless chuckles (just try to think about Trang Pak, the girl in wheelchair and her little person-sidekick, and the Middle-Eastern, hip-hop-obsessed mathlete/"Bad-Ass MC" after the movie without smiling).

If there's anything to complain about in this film, it's the overt sexualization of teenage girls. Of course, the actresses are older than they play, with the exception of Lohan (who, at 17 years old, brings an R. Kelly-like meaning to "The Parent Trap"). Parents might see the Disney-friendly actress in the trailers and bring their young children, but this movie is not for those under high school age (girls are called "sluts" and "whores" throughout). However, that doesn't mean anyone who's older than the class of 2004 shouldn't check "Mean Girls" out. Fey, Waters, and the entire cast have made sure the experience will be enjoyable for everyone.

161 of 208 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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