This movie is based upon the book "Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence" by Rosalind Wiseman, even though it is a non-fiction parental self-help guide with no narrative at all.
In the scene where Cady was asked if her "muffin was buttered," the line was originally going to be, "Is your cherry popped?" The same went for the girl who "made out with a hot dog;" this was going to be "masturbated with a hot dog." These were omitted in order for the film to gain a PG 13+ rating instead of an R.
Initially, Lindsay Lohan was cast as Regina, but she decided to play the "nice girl" (Cady Heron) so the public would not base her real personality on Regina's. Rachel McAdams was chosen to play "mean girl" Regina George because "only nice girls can play mean girls," according to the producer.
The scene in which Cady walks in on Jason and Gretchen kissing at her party is much different in the first draft of the script. Originally, she walks in on Gretchen performing oral sex on Jason (no nudity, nothing graphic), but this was subsequently cut from the final print in order to achieve a PG-13 rating.
In the scene where Christmas candy canes are being distributed in the classroom, Damian, dressed in a Santa suit, reads out the name "Glen Coco." While not portrayed in the movie, Glen Coco is an actual person and a good friend of Tina Fey.
Lizzy Caplan's character was named Janis Ian as an homage to musician Janis Ian, the first Saturday Night Live (1975) musical guest (alongside Billy Preston). Ian's song, "At Seventeen," can be heard playing in the background when the girls are fighting at Regina's house. Other characters bullying Caplan's character persistently call her a lesbian throughout the movie; the real Janis Ian is openly lesbian.
In the book upon which the movie is based, the most popular girl in a school is given the title "Queen Bee." In the movie, the character who fits that description is named "Regina," which means "queen" in Latin.
On August 13, 2013, the White House tweeted a photo of the Obamas' dog, Bo, holding a tennis ball in his mouth with the caption "Bo, stop trying to make fetch happen." This was a play both on a line from Mean Girls (2004) and on one of the more usual meanings of the word "fetch."
At the top of the lunch map Janis makes for Cady, she wrote a cautious note for the woods behind the school, saying, "Make out zone - warning! There is sexual activity in these woods." It frequently goes unnoticed because the camera quickly zooms in closer to the lunch tables.
When Tina Fey planned to adapt "Queen Bees and Wannabes" into a film, she did not realize it was a guidebook with no fictional narrative. She feared she had backed herself into a corner after finalizing the deal with Paramount.
In 2013, Tina Fey stated that she and husband Jeff Richmond had been working on a "Mean Girl" stage production. As of 2016, Fey confirmed that the musical is set to debut for the fifteenth anniversary of the film in 2019. (Update: The stage production is now scheduled to begin performances on Broadway in March 2018, following a tryout in Washington, DC during the fall of 2017.)
The main character, played by Lindsay Lohan, is named "Cady," which has a common pronunciation ("Katie") but an uncommon spelling for an American girl's first name. In keeping with the film's theme of female empowerment, it is the same spelling as the maiden name of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a 19th-century pioneer in the American Women's Rights movement.
Cady gets very excited at the dance when she "actually recognizes" one of the songs being played. That song is "Built This Way," which was performed and co-written by London-born singer-songwriter and DJ Samantha Ronson. About four years after the release of this movie, and after several years of press speculation, Lindsay Lohan and Ronson acknowledged they were in a romantic relationship.
In her autobiography, "Bossypants," Tina Fey says that she named the character "Damian" after "TV Guide" writer Damian Holbrook, who had been her friend since they met as teens in a summer theater workshop in their Pennsylvania hometown.
The movie is based on a real high school, New Trier, which is located in Winnetka, Illinois, in Chicago's North Shore. The school serves a large area of affluent students from five different townships and villages. New Trier, despite the portrayal of mean girl cliques, is actually noted as one of the best high schools in the United States.
The Asian girl who makes out with the coach in the projection room above the auditorium has the name "Trang Pak." Later at the mathletes finals, the Asian guy on Cady's team has the name "T. Pak", for Tim Pak, Trang's brother.
In the scene where the Plastics first ask Cady to sit with them at lunch, all three girls are eating the exact same thing. A sandwich with lettuce and tomatoes in a plastic container and Perrier soda with a white straw
Lindsay Lohan's character, Cady Heron, spent most of her life in Africa, as her parents were zoologists. This is remarkably similar to the premise of the Nicktoon The Wild Thornberrys (1998). Lacey Chabert (Gretchen Wieners) voiced that show's main character, Eliza.
Although the movie was not filmed in the wealthy north suburbs of Chicago known as the "North Shore" (where it is said to take place), several real places in the area are mentioned. These include: Old Orchard Mall in Skokie, Illinois (although the scene was filmed at Sherway Gardens in Etobicoke, Ontario), Walker Brothers Pancake House (the gift certificates at the end have the restaurant's real logo), and Northwestern University. In addition, a deleted scene featured on the DVD mentions Hecky's, a real barbecue restaurant in Evanston, Illinois. School scenes were filmed at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago. Exterior shots of the school were of Etobicoke Collegiate Institute in Etobicoke, as well as hallway scenes. Some scenes were also filmed at a lake front park in Lincoln Park, Chicago.
At the end of the movie, Kevin asks Janis about her ethnic background, and she answers that she is Lebanese. This is a payoff to a joke that has run through the entire movie: people bullying Janis persistently call her a lesbian, only to have her clarify at the end of the movie that she is in fact Lebanese instead. The aural similarity of the two words had been fodder for jokes for several decades before this; two famous examples include the 1986 "Golden Girls" episode in which Blanche confusedly thinks that Dorothy's friend Jean is Lebanese instead of lesbian ("I've never known any personally, but isn't Danny Thomas one?") and Ellen Degeneres's joke during her 1997 appearance on "The Rosie O'Donnell" show in advance of the "Coming Out" episode of "Ellen," that "we [will actually] find out that the character is Lebanese."
In the scene when everyone is getting ready for the spring fling and Cady gets ready for the mathlete tournament, the song "God is a DJ" by Pink is playing. In this scene, a poster of Pink can be seen on Damien's wall.
The stage musical adaptation of Mean Girls is set to make its world premiere October 31, 2017 through December 3, 2017, at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C. (the show's out-of-town, pre-Broadway "tryout"). It is then scheduled to move to Broadway's August Wilson Theatre in 2018. The cast at the National includes: Erika Henningsen (Cady Heron), Taylor Louderman (Regina George), Ashley Park (Gretchen Weiners), Kate Rockwell (Karen Smith), Barrett Wilbert Weed (Janis), Grey Henson (Damian Hubbard), and Kerry Butler (Mrs. Heron / Ms. Norbury / Mrs. George). The musical's book is by Tina Fey, who wrote the source movie's screenplay, with music by Jeff Richmond, lyrics by Nell Benjamin, and direction and choreography by Casey Nicholaw.