Get in, loser. Weâre about to relive the hellish days of high school through the eyes of our favorite queen bees and wannabes.
âMean Girlsâ â the 2004 film that starred Lindsay Lohan as Cady, a new student who tries to navigate the cliques of North Shore High â has become one of the most quotable films, generating endless GIFs and memes. Now that itâs on Broadway, you can sing some of the lines, too. The show was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, including best musical.
Hereâs your guide to North Shore in 2018. Tina Feyâs adaptation for the musical (with music by Jeff Richmond and lyrics by Nell Benjamin) deviates from the movie, but everything is still fetch.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
In 2004, Ms. Lohan, then a cog in the Disney machine, was an âitâ girl in Hollywood. Fans liked her because she seemed â to use a line from Ms. Feyâs book â âauthentic but not in a fake way.â
Being an outsider is in. Janis and Damian take on the part of storytellers, and audiences seemed to like Cadyâs âart freakâ friends in this role. Perhaps in 2018 we have less patience for a lead character who fails math to impress a boy.
âWhy are you so obsessed with me?â Regina, the queen bee of North Shore, asked of Janis in middle school, before spreading the rumor that her former best friend was a lesbian. This is why Janis wanted Cady to help her destroy Reginaâs reputation.
The musical has plenty of girl-power messaging, but it still hinges on the premise that middle school gossip about sexual orientation would define the social dynamics in a progressive community (âMean Girlsâ takes place in Evanston, Ill.). This might have been more plausible in 2004, when expressions of queer identities were less visible and socially acceptable.
Yet Regina and others call Janis a âspace dyke.â ÂŻ\_(ă)_/ÂŻ
Read our review of the musical
Gretchen was described as being âtotally richâ in the film because her father was the inventor of Toaster Strudel. Gretchen didnât pass up the chance to tell Mr. Duvall, North Shoreâs principal, that her father was behind the frozen pastry.
Cady still supplies Regina with the fictional Swedish nutrition bars to sabotage her weight-loss goal. (Whatever, present-day Regina is getting cheese fries.)
Regina reserved her spring fling dress at 1-3-5, an allusion to the mall retailer 5-7-9, but she couldnât zip it up. The saleswomanâs advice: âYou could try Sears.â
The spring fling dress fits just fine. But Regina does wear sweats in the school cafeteria, prompting Gretchen to screech, âYou canât sit with us!â
He was the boy who got four candy cane grams and spurred a thousand memes. But those memes spelled his name wrong.
Thatâs right, Coccoâs name includes two Câs. It always has. But his name wasnât in the filmâs credits, so meme-makers guessed the spelling. They guessed wrong.
Regina tricked Cady into trash-talking Gretchen while Gretchen was on the line. Cady tricked Regina into trash-talking Gretchen and Karen on a group call. All four used landline telephones.
Who uses a landline? LED screens show posts related to what the girls say and do. The limit does not exist!
Karen told Cady: âIâm kind of psychic. I have a fifth sense. Itâs like I have ESPN or something.â In 2004, many eyes were glued to ESPN.
In an era of #fakenews, many eyes are glued to Twitter. Regina jokes that President Trump has blocked her on the site.
âCoach Carr, step away from the underage girls!â The same coach, who said, âDonât have sex because you will get pregnant and die,â was accused of having inappropriate relationships with two students.
References to pedophilia are out in the age of #MeToo. The Burn Book does reveal that Cadyâs crush, Aaron, uses a fake address to attend North Shore, so heâs expelled. He doesnât even go there anymore!
The big questions, though, are why a Burn Book exists in 2018, and why Regina would photocopy its contents instead of posting pages on Instagram.
The Plastics danced to the Christmas tune at the winter talent show. Gretchen accidentally kicked the portable CD player, causing the song to skip. Cady saved the day by leading a singalong.
The change was a creative decision. And now a boombox doesnât malfunction. (Do boomboxes, like, exist anymore?) Instead, Reginaâs skirt pops off, and she is shamed on social media.
In the film, Aaron asked Cady what day it is. âItâs October Third,â she said.
In the musical, Aaron asks Cady what day it is. âItâs October Third,â she says.