Four timeless chick-flick tropes from Clueless

Four timeless chick-flick tropes from Clueless

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Text: Varsha Sivaram

Image: Getty Images,

John Hughes might have done it first with his repertoire of '80s coming-of-age films, but he didn’t do it quite like this. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Clueless, we pick our favourite tropes from the seminal chick-flick film

1. The trio of popular girls
You've seen them gracing the most honourable of cafeteria tables, but Regina George wasn't the first rich, blonde leader of the pack. Cher Horowitz got there first, with her followers in tow. Dionne, Tai, and Cher made an iconic picture, inspiring the popular posse trope in high school movies that came after it. Our personal favourite? The Plastics.


Mean girls gretchen

2. The adaptation of a literary classic
From the Victorian era to the 90s, seeing Jane Austen's Emma undergo the Beverly Hills treatment was an intriguing cinematic choice. Since then, films such as 10 Things I Hate About You, She's The Man, and plenty more have taken their leaves out of literary classics (both films were inspired by Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night respectively).


3. The makeover montage 
The 'ugly duckling', so to speak, gets her tresses brushed out and her lips painted, becoming one of the cool kids instantly. It's been done years before Clueless (Grease, anyone?), but we're pretty certain that Brittany Murphy's transformation was a defining, more current one. Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries, Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls, and plenty more have followed suit.


mia princess

4. 'Keeping it real'
With an array of lingo that rivals UrbanDictionary, Clueless gave us some truly golden lines. Whether the person you're not too fond of is a "full-on Monet", or a stressful day has you totally "buggin'", the characters in Clueless set the benchmark for some hilarious teen vernacular. Mean Girls took on the trend, and where would we be without "fetch"?