Get in losers, we’re going to learn everything there ever was to know about Mean Girls. No matter how many times you’ve seen the movie (sorry, nope, the limit does not exist), I can promise you don’t know these Burn Book-worthy secrets. Think I’m lying? Do you know which cast member had their very first kiss on camera? What about all of the improvised lines? And how about Regina George’s literally amazing connection to The Real Housewives?? Warning: You’ll basically become a Plastic after reading these uber-grool facts. Grab your Kälteen Bars and cheese fries, because I’m spilling serious tea.
The Plastics could have looked very different.
Like, very different.
Imagine Sharpay as Miss Gretchen Toaster Strudel Queen Wieners. Impossible, I know! Ashley Tisdale auditioned, but it only took one take for Lacey Chabert to land the role.
Jonathan Bennett wasn’t always going to play Aaron Samuels.
Does James Franco look sexy with his hair pushed back?? Because he was almost Aaron Samuels. Thankfully, Tina Fey came to her senses and went with the ~irreplaceable~ Jonathan Bennett—because she thought he looked like a young Jimmy Fallon. She’s not wrong!
Kevin G needed rap lessons from Amy Poehler.
You know how it goes: “All you sucka MC’s ain’t got nothin’ on me…” But before actor Rajiv Surendra got in front of the camera, he needed a pep talk. “Before shooting the scene, Tina, Amy and Lindsay took a video in their hotel room of Amy doing the rap with Tina and Lindsay beatboxing,” he said in 2019. “It actually did help, I don’t know if the rap would have been executed the way it appeared in the film if it had not been for that video.”
Damian wasn’t singing to an audience.
While on the topic of the Winter Talent Show…Daniel Franzese revealed the only person in the audience that saw his Christina Aguilera moment was his mom. Yup, movie magic made it look like the auditorium was full.
Rachel McAdams breaks the fourth wall.
Don’t know about you, but I felt personally victimized by Regina George when she stared deep into my soul to describe the “ugliest effing skirt” she’d ever seen. It only happens for a split second, but her unmistakable glare directly into the camera—whether done on purpose or not—gives off major “if Jim Halpert was evil” vibes.
Glen Coco is…real????
Despite seeing the back of his head for literally .05 seconds in the entire movie, Mean Girls wouldn’t be the same without Glen Coco. And, yes, Glen freakin’ Coco is a very real name and a friend of Tina Fey’s.
The actor who plays Glen Coco? He doesn’t even go here.
Ah, there he is! The man, the myth, the legend. Actor David Reale, then just 19 years old, auditioned for the movie but wasn’t casted. That didn’t stop him from SNEAKING ONTO THE SET, stealing food, being caught, and then being given a small, completely made up on the spot part as “a consolation prize.” He was never paid, didn’t get a credit in the movie, and, in his own words, “just sat in a chair and tried not to stare at Lindsay Lohan.” Hear that, kids? Never give up on your dreams!
There’s one Plastic who didn’t write in the Burn Book.
Amanda Seyfried confirmed her character never wrote anything in those iconic pages at all, saying it was all her “insecure” friends. Which is kinda the most fire burn of them all 🔥🔥🔥.
Lindsay Lohan was almost Regina.
And Rachel McAdams was almost Cady. Maybe it was because Rachel McAdams was nearly a decade older than her, but Lindsay Lohan acted “intimidated” and “quite nervous” around the then-25-year-old actress when they first met. Her uneasiness caused director Mark Waters to swap their roles. “It did something to Lindsay I liked, so in the testing process head to head Rachel was the better choice,” he revealed.
Jonathan Bennett was an Abercrombie model.
“I was folding sweaters in front room – I think I was shirtless or something – and checked my phone on my break,” Jonathan Bennett said in 2019. “I had a message from my agent saying, ‘Call me back right away, you’re the lead in the new Paramount movie and have to go to Canada tomorrow.’ I was like, ‘Cool, I’ll call you back after my shift’ and he said ‘You don’t have a shift anymore, go home and start packing.’ I up and quit.”
Mariah Carey is a superfan.
Like loves it so much she referenced it in a song. 2009’s “Obsessed” starts with her saying “Why you so obsessed with me?” à la Regina George. If that’s not enough proof for you, the music video has someone get hit by a bus at the end. In 2020, Tina Fey continued to bless us by quizzing Mariah on her Mean Girls knowledge. Which, spoiler, is impressive.
There’s a reason Cady’s background sounds familiar.
What you know: Cady and her zoologist parents lived in Africa so they could study animals. What you don’t know: Before booking Mean Girls, Lacey Chabert voiced Eliza in The Wild Thornberrys. The *legendary* cartoon was about a family who travels across Africa to learn about wildlife. Coincidence? Nah.
Tina Fey was a self-proclaimed mean girl.
That’s right, once upon a time Tina Fey was made of cold, shiny, hard plastic. I’ll hold for a sec and let that sink in. “I revisited high school behaviors of my own — futile, poisonous, bitter behaviors that served no purpose,” the comedy queen admitted to The New York Times. Sorry, I’m in denial.
A Mean Girls cookbook exists.
Abercrombie model, author, is there anything Jonathan Bennett can’t do?? In 2018, he penned The Burn Cookbook, AKA the only collection of recipes that will motivate me to make more than a bowl of cereal.
Regina’s hair is fake.
Janis Regina. Clearly, the iconic quote was directed at the wrong person. Rachel McAdams reportedly didn’t want to bleach her hair for the role, so she was given a $10,000 wig. Which meannnns…the random mathlete who said “I hear her hair’s insured for $10,000” was kinda right??
The Winter Talent Show took place on Thanksgiving.
Look past Regina’s long blonde hair (especially now that you know it’s not real!), and you’ll spot the flyer to her left that reveals the talent show was on November 27, 2003. Personally, I’d rather be stuffing my face with pie on Thanksgiving, but that’s just me.
Kälteen Bars taste like Reese’s Cups and cookie dough.
Yes, the parents have names.
Is she a regular mom? Nope. Does she have a name? Tbh, I had no idea. Turns out, Mrs. George’s first name is June. Cady’s parents are Chip and Betsy. The only parent without a first name is Mr. George.
They had to bribe the Chihuahua to film that scene.
Speaking of June, the bond she shared with her dog is…let’s say interesting. “They, like, pinned a piece of a cocktail wiener into [Amy Poehler’s] bra. I thought this dog was going to tear her apart,” Rachel McAdams recalled to Entertainment Weekly.
A background actor had his first kiss during this scene.
There’s a meaning behind Regina’s name.
Regina literally means “queen” in Italian, which makes total sense. As for George, the Italian translation is Giorgio, which means “farmer.” Soooo she’s technically Queen Farmer. Is that because she’s good at planting seeds in her friends’ minds and milking the drama? I’ll see myself out now.
Janis Ian was named after a real musician.
Lizzy Caplan’s character was named after the very first musical guest on Saturday Night Live. The singer was popular in the ’70s, and had one major hit called “At Seventeen.” The lyrics ranted about “beauty queens” and high school outcasts. Listen closely and you’ll hear the song playing in the background of a scene at Regina’s house.
Janis’s look was modeled after Kelly Osbourne.
Once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Kelly Osbourne, the rebel princess of the ’00s, inspired everything from Janis Ian’s jet-black hair to her oversized tops and fingerless gloves. Director Mark Waters was actually hesitant to cast Lizzy Caplan in the role out of fear that she wasn’t edgy enough. Her emotional audition earned her the role anyway, and thank the punk rock gods it did bc I seriously can’t imagine anyone else.
Lindsay Lohan had over 50 wardrobe changes.
It’s called fashion, look it up. The wardrobe department deserves all the awards for planning 59 (!!!!) different outfits for Cady and 30 more for each of the other Plastics. Lead costume designer Mary Jane Fort told Nylon how she sorted through “millions of high school yearbooks from all over the country” for inspo.
There were a ton of hints about the bus.
On Cady’s first day at school, she narrowly escapes getting hit by one. She later says her crush on Aaron Samuels “hit me like a big yellow school bus.” Also, am I the only one seriously annoyed by the school district?? There must be something they could have done to prevent Regina’s accident.
There were also a lot of secret messages about plastic.
Okay, before we dive into this, it’s important to note: Throughout the entire movie, the Plastics never actually call themselves the Plastics. Not once! That doesn’t stop them from wearing Santa skirts made from, well, you can see. There’s also a super-short scene in a classroom where the periodic elements are on a list in the background. Instead of silicon, it says “silicone.” You got us there, props department!
There’s a deleted final scene between Cady and Regina that changes everything.
Question for Tina Fey: Why was this scene deleted?!! It’s got everything: Regina and Cady’s first conversation after the bus incident, forgiveness, and Regina being…kind of nice? Sure, she’s high on pain meds, but it still counts.
And another deleted scene that fills a major plot hole.
Think about it: We see Janis and Cady lead the Plastics sabotage, but what about Damian? In this deleted scene, he takes the reins and comes up with an impressive plan of his own. Just watch it and thank me later.
Aaron’s Halloween costume is meh for a reason.
No, his generic jersey wasn’t a metaphor for his relatively boring personality, it was because production couldn’t get the rights to any Chicago Cubs players’ names, so they went with “old-timey” football player instead.
The first day of filming was harder than expected.
You can’t exactly shoot a movie without your star. In what could possibly be the worst time to get pink eye ever, Lindsay Lohan couldn’t make it to set on the first day, because of the contagious condition.
One of the funniest lines in this fight scene was improvised.
Daniel Franzese adlibbed the iconic line, “I want my pink shirt back!” Luckily, Tina Fey loved it and the moment was left in the final cut of the movie.
The movie is actually based on a book.
“Fetch” was bad on purpose—and short for “fetching.”
Tina Fey purposefully chose a word she knew wasn’t actually used by teens, so that the movie wouldn’t ever seem dated. “I just started thinking, ‘Oh, whatever I put in the movie now, by the time the movie gets made, it will be over, so just make up something fake,'” she told Katie Couric.
One of the mathletes is the brother of another character.
If T. Pak sounds familiar to you, that’s because you might know Tim Pak’s little sister, Trang Pak, AKA Coach Carr’s infamous hookup. Ya know, “step away from the underage girls” Coach Carr? Yeah, that guy.
Lindsay had a little IRL crush on Jonathan Bennett.
At least, he made her blush, same thing right? “I did a screen test with Lindsay and I made her blush on camera,” Bennett told Cosmo UK. “I remember thinking, ‘Oh my gosh I just booked this job.'”
Most of the adults in the film were almost re-cast.
Tina Fey wanted to cast her Saturday Night Live friends, which took “a lot of fighting with the studio” to make it happen, since Paramount didn’t want people thinking of it as “an SNL movie.” Rude!
The original title isn’t nearly as good.
Would you be just as obsessed with this movie if it was called Homeschooled? Tbh, I’m not sure. The (not so great) name came *thisclose* to becoming the final choice for the movie. Thankfully, it was changed after Tina Fey and crew came up with the idea to swap out Cady’s homeschooling background with living in Africa.
Tim Meadows’ cast is very much real.
Just one week before filming, the comedian broke his hand. So the writers threw in a casual little line about Mr. Duvall’s “carpal tunnel” in the script to clear that right up.
Regina’s future probably involves The Real Housewives.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the cast revealed what they think the Plastics are up to today. I’ll summarize: Karen sells luxury dog accessories, Cady’s back in Africa, Gretchen runs her Toaster Strudel empire with Jason and their seven kids, and Regina is Andy Cohen’s fave on The Real Housewives. When and where can I watch??
There were cliques within the cast…
Which table would you sit at: (1) Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seyfried’s, (2) Jonathan Bennett, Lizzy Caplan, and Daniel Franzese’s, or (3) Rachel McAdams and Rajiv Surendra’s? Because those were your options. Lindsay’s missing because she was younger, so she had restricted hours and needed to attend school during breaks.
But they all still talk today.
Nearly 20 years later (pausing here to realize I’m ancient), the cast still regularly chats and hypes each other up on social media—and even celebrates National Mean Girls Day every year. In October 2020, Katie Couric gave us the best 16 minutes and 30 seconds to ever exist on the internet when the entire cast reunited. Pssssttt, Tina!! Please for the love of all things grool and fetch, don’t make us wait another decade to see this beautiful group of people together again.
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