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40 Totally Fetch Movies Like Mean Girls You Definitely Have To Watch

It's been almost 20 years since "Mean Girls" landed on the big screen. The film, which grossed $130 million from an $18 million budget, has long been lauded as a cult-classic teen comedy for the modern era. The script was penned by "30-Rock" creator Tina Fey, who was inspired by Rosalind Wiseman's debut non-fiction book "Queen Bees and Wannabes," which is a parental guide to high-school cliques. "Mean Girls" boasts an impressive cast that includes Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, Lizzy Caplan, Daniel Franzese, and Jonathan Bennett.

With women behind and in front of the camera, "Mean Girls" has had an unprecedented impact on the cultural zeitgeist. From highly quoted lines like "You can't sit with us," "On Wednesdays we wear pink," and "You go, Glen Coco!" to the creation of international "Means Girls" day every year on October 3, the film created so many iconic moments and trends. So, while Gretchen Wieners' creation (the word "fetch") didn't exactly take off, "Mean Girls" did. Along with the likes of "Clueless" and "Legally Blonde," it marked the early days of female-centric mainstream cinema, a genre which has continued to thrive.

Since 2004, hundreds of teen comedies have been released and many of them share a similar tone or plot elements to "Mean Girls." In this list, we've picked out the very best of them, along with a few movies from decades past which "Mean Girls" took inspiration from. Here's 40 totally fetch movies like "Mean Girls" you definitely have to watch.

Easy A

Before he wrote and directed "Friends with Benefits," Will Gluck helmed the teen romantic comedy "Easy A." The 2010 film, which was written by Bert V. Royal, follows Olive Penderghast, a seemingly average high school student. That is, until she lies to her best friend and tells her that she lost her virginity over the weekend. Olive's little white lie snowballs into an all-out rumor that unsurprisingly gets this quiet teen more attention at school than she's used to. Realizing that it could have financial benefits, Olive leans into the rumor. She also takes inspiration from "The Scarlet Letter," which she's reading in English class, and embroiders the letter 'A' on all of her clothes after getting slut-shamed by her peers.

Like "Mean Girls," "Easy A" is an entertaining and well-written coming-of-age comedy that puts female characters at the center of its narrative. The film has a truly excellent ensemble cast that includes Amanda Bynes, Penn Badgley, Stanley Tucci, Lisa Kudrow, and Thomas Haden Church. However, it's Emma Stone who truly shines in the role of Olive Penderghast. "Easy A" is the film that ultimately put Stone's star on the rise, with The Daily Beast subsequently pointing out that she "essentially landed the career that Lindsay Lohan was supposed to have."


"Good Girls" star Mae Whitman takes center stage in "The DUFF," a 2015 teen comedy based on the book of the same name by Kody Keplinger. Although it's not her first appearance in a coming-of-age film (having previously starred in Stephen Chbosky's adaptation of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower") playing Bianca Piper in "The DUFF" was Whitman's first leading feature role.

In the throes of her senior year at Malloy High School, Bianca finds out she's the "Designated Ugly Fat Friend" or "DUFF" to her best friends Jess (Skyler Samuels) and Casey (Bianca A. Santos). According to her jock neighbor Wesley (Robbie Amell), this makes it Bianca's job to act as the gatekeeper to her more popular and beautiful best friends. "The DUFF" received favorable reviews from critics and scores of more than 70% on Rotten Tomatoes — and rightly so. Thanks to the chemistry between Whitman and Amell and an entertaining makeover montage, there's a lot to enjoy in this film. While it recycles well-used tropes like makeovers, transformations, and feeling like an outcast, "The DUFF" manages to amalgamate them into a fresh new high school comedy, promoting self-love and acceptance in teenage girls in the process.

Bella Thorne, Ken Jeong, Romany Malco, Nick Eversman, and Allison Janney round out the cast of this spirited comedy.


Teen angst meets a third-wave feminist revolution in "Moxie." It begins when quiet teen Vivian (Hadley Robinson) becomes inspired by her mom's (Amy Poehler) rebel past and decides to write and distribute an anonymous feminist zine at school. At the start of the 2021 film, Rockdale High is organized by a social hierarchy, but through the collective support for Vivian's zine "Moxie!," the students come together and transcend their cliques and social barriers.

"Moxie" is reminiscent of "Mean Girls": Both Cady and Vivian expend their energy trying to take down the school's bullies. For Cady, it's Regina George and The Plastics, but for Vivian it's Mitchell and the toxic masculinity he represents. However, unlike "Mean Girls," which exists entirely within the confines of its North Shore High School universe, "Moxie" also provides a timely social commentary.

The other similarities between the films are not hard to spot, beginning with having women at the forefront of "Moxie," both on screen and behind-the-scenes. And of course, there's Poehler, who's not only the film's director but who replicates her parental status from Regina's "cool mom" in "Mean Girls" to Vivian's former feminist rebel mom in "Moxie." The film's other notable cast members include Alycia Pascual-Peña, Anjelika Washington, Josephine Langford, Josie Totah, and Clark Gregg.

He's All That

If "Mean Girls" had been created after the rise of social media, it might have looked a little something like "He's All That." The 2021 Netflix film, which is an updated, gender-swapped remake of '90s flick "She's All That," chronicles the rise and fall of makeover influencer Pagett Sawyer, played by Addison Rae. After she humiliates herself all over the internet, Padgett's frenemy Alden (Madison Pettis) bets her she can't turn a high school loser into their next prom king. Enter Cameron Kweller, played by Tanner Buchanan, who, unlike Padgett, prefers to live his life offline without any kind of social media presence which makes for an interesting pairing.

"He's All That" was penned by "She's All That" writer R. Lee Fleming Jr. The refreshed narrative speaks to a modern audience but retains all the ups and downs of a teen coming-of-age story, complete with rumors, lies by omission, and over the top high school parties. "He's All That" also makes one (or two) references to the original movie thanks to the casting of Rachael Leigh Cook and Matthew Lillard, both of whom appear in new roles.

Despite its somewhat mixed reviews and low Rotten Tomatoes score, "Mean Girls" fans should take a chance on "He's All That." Irrespective of social media as a plot device, both Cady and Padgett ultimately learn the same lesson; that it's what's on the inside that counts, not the fake persona you project out into the world.

Wild Child

Before she was Chanel Oberlin in "Scream Queens" or Sloane Benson in "Holidate," Emma Roberts played Poppy Moore in the 2008 film "Wild Child." Poppy, a spoiled, out-of-control teenager from Malibu is sent to boarding school in England for a change of perspective. Like Cady, who was homeschooled in Africa until she attended North Shore High, Poppy experiences a completely new high school experience at Abbey Mount. Some hilarious antics ensue as Poppy tries everything she can to escape her English prison, but, as the film progresses, she comes to realize it might not be as horrible as she first thought.

"Wild Child" may not have been a financial smash (grossing $21.9 million on a $20 million budget), but we think it's an underrated teen comedy that "Mean Girls" fans will love. The film is full of appealing characters, played by the likes of Kimberley Nixon, Juno Temple, and Alex Pettyfer. However, it's Roberts' performance as Poppy that viewers will enjoy the most. The character's transformation and redemption storyline is compelling and realistic. Unlike Cady, who changes herself and her behavior to fit in with The Plastics, all Poppy has to do to feel like she belongs at Abbey Mount is be herself.

The Edge of Seventeen

"The Edge of Seventeen" is another classic coming-of-age story, starring Hailee Steinfeld as the central character, Nadine. Her world starts spinning out of control when her older brother Darian (Blake Jenner) starts dating her one and only friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson). After she ends her friendship with Krista, Nadine's emotional turmoil and feelings of loneliness increase, leaving her with only her teacher Mr. Bunner (Woody Harrelson) and her classmate Erwin Kim (Hayden Szeto) left to talk to.

"The Edge of Seventeen" is a real — and sometimes messy — portrayal of a teenager dealing with romantic firsts and the pitfalls of high school, along with the realities of grief following the death of her father. However, the 2016 film has a slightly darker tone than "Mean Girls" which preferred to portray its bullying storylines through an upbeat comedic lens. Don't let that deter you though, Steinfeld injects plenty of comedic moments into the film, too. Plus, the movie's critical success (a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) makes "The Edge of Seventeen" a must-see. The website's Critics Consensus summed it up best, noting "The Edge of Seventeen's sharp script — and Hailee Steinfeld's outstanding lead performance — make this more than just another coming-of-age dramedy," and we couldn't agree more.

A Cinderella Story

"A Cinderella Story" is a modern reimagining of the classic Cinderella fairytale. Set in California in 2004, the story follows high school student Samantha "Sam" Montgomery (Hilary Duff) who lives with evil stepmother Fiona (Jennifer Coolidge) and her two dim-witted stepsisters Brianna (Madeline Zima) and Gabriella (Andrea Avery Ray).

In keeping with the Cinderella fairy tale, Sam's father has passed away and Fiona controls her inheritance and treats her stepdaughter more like a servant than family member. In a bid to modernize the classic story, Sam's romantic arc is introduced via technology as she instant messages her internet pen-pal "Nomad," played by Chad Michael Murray. The pair plan to meet at their high school Halloween dance and reveal their identities to one another — but that's just the beginning of the story.

In spite of pretty low ratings (12% on Rotten Tomatoes), "A Cinderella Story" is universally beloved by anyone who was a teenager in the mid-2000s. Its much higher audience rating of 53% is proof of that. Thanks to the comedic stylings of Coolidge as Sam's stepmom (her line about not being able to show emotion after having Botox will have you in stitches) and Duff's charming appeal, "A Cinderella Story" is a noughties classic. It's also the first installment of an ongoing franchise, but more on that later.

Let It Snow

Based on the young adult novel of the same name, "Let It Snow" is a Christmas romantic comedy — and basically Netflix's answer to a teen Hallmark movie. Full disclosure, "Let It Snow" takes place entirely outside the confines of a high school environment since it's set on Christmas Eve. However, the ensemble film's teenage characters are each navigating love and friendship, just like the cast of "Mean Girls" which makes "Let It Snow" a great addition to this list.

"Let It Snow" follows multiple characters and several different story threads which are eventually pulled together at a Christmas Eve party. The film's script, which is peppered "with wit and warmth" (per The Guardian), is complemented by a well-rounded cast that includes Kiernan Shipka, Mitchell Hope, Isabela Merced, Shameik Moore, Odeya Rush, Liv Hewson, Anna Akana and Jacob Batalon. "Let It Snow" draws on tropes from past teen comedies like "Mean Girls," and viewers might draw similarities between Rush's character Addie and Lindsay Lohan's Cady. At the beginning of the movie Addie is obsessed with appearances and social media, which The Plastics version of Cady certainly would have been if "Mean Girls" was filmed in 2019, too. However, Addie eventually lets go of what other people think she should be doing and who she should be and embraces who she is, just like Cady.


"Clueless" is another teen romantic comedy that has been awarded cult-classic status. It's been almost three decades since the film first premiered on the silver screen in 1995 and it's still a staple on streaming services. "Clueless" follows Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) and Dionne Davenport (Stacey Dash), who are two of the most popular (and materialistic) girls at Bronson Alcott High School in Beverly Hills. As a "good deed," the pair decided to "adopt" the uncool new student Tai Fraiser (Brittany Murphy), who Cher believes is tragically in need of their help. One makeover montage later and Tai's ready for her newfound popularity.

"Clueless" is a modern reimagining of Jane Austen's classic novel "Emma," so giving Tai a makeover isn't Cher's only good deed in the film. She also puts herself to work match-making various characters. However, just like Emma, Cher comes to realize that her good deeds might not be as helpful as she thought.

The film is told from Cher's perspective and, despite her character flaws, you can't help but root for her. Just like Cady learns to be a better person by the end of "Mean Girls," Cher has a total transformation in "Clueless." In fact, Cher's character arc is one of the best things about this film. "Clueless" also coined a few iconic sayings, like Cher's catchphrase "Ugh, as if!" which you might end up mimicking.

10 Things I Hate About You

There's a reason films like "Clueless" and "10 Things I Hate About You" reached cult-classic status. Alongside their stellar casts, witty scripts and adorable '90s outfits, it probably has something to do with the fact they're both based on beloved classic literature. "10 Things I Hate About You" takes inspiration from William Shakespeare's comedy "The Taming of the Shrew." Instead of Katherina and Bianca Minola, the film follows the Stratford sisters. Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) isn't allowed to date until her older sister Kat (Julia Stiles) does. In the hopes of dating Bianca, new student Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) arranges for the school's bad boy Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) to take Kat out, with Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan) unwittingly footing the bill.

Like "Mean Girls," "10 Things I Hate About You" delves deep into the high school experience. It examines how teenagers make decisions based on social and cultural expectations, but also how freeing it can be to make choices for yourself instead, something viewers will definitely relate to. So, it's okay to be like Kat, or Biana, or Cady.

To this day, "10 Things I Hate About You" remains one of the most popular teen romantic comedies of all time and it's one of both Julia Stiles and the late Heath Ledger's most notable roles. This lively comedy never fails to entertain and "Mean Girls" fans will love the chemistry between Stiles and Ledger.

Drive Me Crazy

1999 was a busy year for teen romantic comedies. Just a few months after "10 Things I Hate About You" was released, "Drive Me Crazy" also appeared on the big screen. The film stars Melissa Joan Hart, who was halfway through her seven-year stint on ABC's "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" at the time. Swapping the role of a magical witch for a regular high school teen, Hart plays the leading lady Nicole Maris in "Drive Me Crazy."

Nicole has spent months planning her school's centennial celebrations, which is more than just a high school dance to her. She intends to go with popular jock Brad Seldon (Gabriel Carpenter), but when he lets her down at the last minute, she turns to her neighbor and former friend Chase Hammond (Adrian Grenier). Nicole and Chase travel in different social circles, but that all changes when they pretend to be a couple. After a quick makeover montage Chase's popularity skyrockets and he goes from outcast to inner circle in just a few scenes. Although he maintains that his transformation is all a scam to see how the 1% lives, we've seen enough teen rom-coms to know that's probably not going to be the case.

"Drive Me Crazy" pulls together many overused teen tropes like makeovers, transformations, and infiltrating a popular high school clique, but it manages to flip them around and present them in a way that is completely appealing. The on-screen chemistry between Hart and Grenier is a big part of the film's charm, too.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

In her international breakout role, Lana Condor stars as Lara Jean Covey alongside Noah Centineo's Peter Kavinsky in "To All the Boys I've Loved Before." The 2018 film is based on Jenny Han's young adult book series of the same name and follows Lara Jean, who's secretly crushing on her older sister's boyfriend, Josh (Israel Broussard). To make matters worse, her younger sister discovers secret love letters Lara Jean has written to all her former crushes and decides to mail them out, including Josh's. To save face, Lara Jean pretends to start dating Peter, another letter recipient, who's trying to make his ex-girlfriend jealous.

Like "Drive Me Crazy," "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" plays on common rom-com tropes like fake relationships. However, although it elicits similar results (i.e., grand gestures and romantic declarations), the film feels like a fresh addition to the teen comedy genre. It is not surprising, then, that "To All the Boys" has become one of Netflix's most popular original movies.

"Mean Girls" fans will note the similarities between Cady and Lara Jean, who's dealing with a lot of high school firsts and just trying to figure life out. And, if you just can't get enough of "To All the Boys I've Loved Before," there are two more films in the series for you to enjoy!

The Princess Diaries

"The Princess Diaries" begins like so many good high school film comedies do; with the outsider protagonist being teased by the high school bully who, in this case, is the cheerleader Lana Thomas (Mandy Moore). The leading lady of the 2001 film is Amelia "Mia" Thermopolis, played by Anne Hathaway in her breakout role. She's joined in Grove High School's corridors by her equally socially awkward best friend, Lilly Moscovitz (Heather Matarazzo). However, Mia's mundane high school existence changes in a moment when her estranged grandmother Clarisse (Julie Andrews) arrives to tell her she's actually a princess and the heir-apparent of a small country. 

Before she knows it, Mia is given a makeover and is enrolled in princess etiquette classes, seemingly leaving her old life behind.

Just like "Mean Girls," "The Princess Diaries" relies heavily on the "nobody to somebody" transformation trope and, while Mia isn't a new student, she, like Cady, is thrust into an entirely new world and wildly different social scene. Similarly, as they experience their newfound popularity, both of these teenage girls begin to lose themselves along the way. Mia's arc, which sees her balancing relationships with her friends and family alongside her duties as a princess, is an entertaining watch.

She's the Man

Amanda Bynes was a film and TV staple from the late '90s until 2010. One of her most universally beloved teen comedies is the 2006 film "She's the Man," which follows Bynes' soccer-loving character Viola Hastings. When she's not allowed to play on the boys' team at Cornwall High, Viola impersonates her twin brother Sebastian (James Kirk) who's off traveling in England and joins the soccer team at his boarding school, Illyria Prep. Viola set out to prove to her former coach and ex-boyfriend that she's just as good a soccer player as the boys. However, things don't exactly go to plan and when she falls for her new roommate Duke Orsino (Channing Tatum) and when Sebastian's mean ex-girlfriend Monique Valentine (Alex Breckenridge) tries to track him down, the situation gets even messier.

"She's the Man" takes the high school transformation trope to a whole new level with Viola physically transforming her appearance with wigs and false facial hair. The situation becomes even more comical when Viola's society mom requires both her and Sebastian's attendance at several events. Bynes' dual performance as Viola and not-Sebastian has rightly been praised by Refinery29 as "one of her best, most challenging" roles of all time, a comment that further solidifies the film as an underrated gem. "Mean Girls" fans will love the energy of this teen comedy, which is loosely based on William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night."

Cruel Intentions

Another addition to the 1999 cinema slate was "Cruel Intentions," a teen romantic drama. The film definitely has a darker tone than "Mean Girls," but it absolutely deserves a place on this list. Both films prioritize social status above all else and reputations are everything for the group of wealthy New York teenagers in "Cruel Intentions." The movie's central cast members — Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, and Selma Blair — were all in the early days of stardom when they signed on to the now-cult film.

Initially set to be an independent release, "Cruel Intentions" was quickly picked up by Columbia Pictures. It adapts the plot of the 1782 French novel "Dangerous Liaisons." Step-siblings Kathryn Merteuil (Geller) and Sebastian Valmonte (Phillippe) each set out to seduce one of their classmates with — yep, you guessed it — cruel intentions. Scorned by her ex-boyfriend Court Reynolds (Charlie O'Connell), Kathryn goes after his new girlfriend, Cecile Caldwell (Blair). Meanwhile, Sebastian does whatever it takes to seduce the headteacher's chaste daughter Annette Hargrove (Witherspoon).

If the tone of this dark teen drama draws you in, you'll be happy to know that the success of "Cruel Intentions" spawned a further two films which comprises of a prequel released in 2000 and a sequel which premiered in 2004.

Pretty in Pink

Molly Ringwald was the darling of 1980s cinema, notably starring in teen cult classics like "Sixteen Candles" and "The Breakfast Club." Both are excellent movies, but it's Ringwald's third John Hughes credit, "Pretty in Pink," which "Mean Girls" fans will adore. The 1986 comedy-drama follows Andie Walsh (Ringwald) and her best friend Phil "Duckie" Dale (Jon Cryer) as they navigate high school, experience first love, and go to their high school prom.

Like Cady, Andie is an outsider who falls for a popular guy — in this case, it's Blane McDonough, played by Andrew McCarthy. However, unlike "Mean Girls," Andie knows who she is and is honest about where she comes from. Instead, it's Blane who falters when he's pressured to break up with Andie by his jealous best friend Steff McKee (James Spader). Familiar themes like adolescent insecurities, popularity versus morality, and overcoming economic differences spill off the screen.

The film oozes '80s nostalgia, but it's Ringwald's performance and Hughes' script which have best stood the test of time, according to Rotten Tomatoes' Critics Consensus which concludes that "Pretty in Pink" is a "sweet, intelligent teen comedy that takes an ancient premise and injects it with insight and wit."

The Kissing Booth

Shelly "Elle" Evans (Joey King) and Lee Flynn (Joel Courtney) have been best friends since the day they were born. They've experienced every step of life together and now, complete with a list of friendship do's and don'ts, Elle and Lee embark on their junior year of high school. However, their kissing booth fundraiser marks a turning point in their friendship. When Elle starts lying to Lee and breaks one of their sacred rules by dating his older brother Noah (Jacob Elordi), it isn't long before the cracks in their friendship begin to show.

While approaching teen comedies from a more modern perspective, "The Kissing Booth" is basically an ode to the high school films which have come before it. "Mean Girls" fans will love everything about this movie, from The OMG's who are undoubtedly based on The Plastics, to John Hughes '80s-era throwbacks which come full circle with Molly Ringwald playing Noah and Lee's mom.

Despite its appalling Rotten Tomatoes score, "The Kissing Booth" ranks higher with viewers. After it was released on Netflix in 2018, it soon grew into an entire franchise thanks to the addition of two sequels which bring Elle and Lee's high school experience to a close.


Along with "The Kissing Booth," Netflix's 2018 release calendar included the equally hilarious teen comedy, "Dumplin'." The film stars Danielle MacDonald as Willowdean Dickson, daughter of former beauty queen champion Rosie Dickson, played by Jennifer Aniston. While she was growing up, Rosie was often more concerned with pageant events, so Willowdean was raised by her late aunt, Lucy (Hilliary Begley), who spurred on her niece's love for Dolly Parton. This provides the premise for the film's lively soundtrack.

Along with her friends Ellen "Elle" Dryver (Odeya Rush), Millie Mitchellchuck (Maddie Baillio), and Hannah Perez (Bex Taylor-Klaus), Willowdean decides to enter a pageant as "a protest in heels" in honor of her aunt who never felt confident enough to enter herself. Dove Cameron, Georgie Flores, Harold Perrineau, and Luke Benward round out the film's cast.

Like "Mean Girls," "Dumplin'" puts women's stories at the forefront of its narrative and deals with modern topics like body image. It also utilizes the classic teen comedy trope of being an outsider and embracing who you are — a lesson which both Cady and Willowdean eventually learn. This coming-of-age comedy reaches emotional depths that are often skimmed over in a teen flick. It feels fresh, modern, and timely while still portraying all the elements of a classic teen comedy.

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen

"Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" is another film on Lindsay Lohan's roster of high school comedies. However, it predates "Mean Girls" by just a few months, first premiering in February 2004. In the film, Lohan plays Mary Elizabeth "Lola Steppe" Cep, a superficial teen who dreams of a career on Broadway. But, when the movie begins, she's wrenched away from her life in New York and forced to live and attend school in New Jersey — which means her Broadway goal couldn't look further away.

Despite some poor reviews and a shockingly low Rotten Tomatoes score of 14%, the film was still a modest financial success, grossing a respectable $33.2 million worldwide. Though it might not have garnered the same cult status as "Mean Girls," Lohan's performance in "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" will definitely entertain fans. Like Cady, Lola pretends to be someone she's not in order to fit in. She lies constantly to impress her friends, all while battling with the school's queen bee Carla Santini (Megan Fox). Fox's character is easily comparable to Rachel McAdams' mean girl Regina George. Their feud brings to light classic teen comedy tropes like navigating high school as an outsider, obsessing over social status, and learning how to follow your heart, which you'll recognize from "Mean Girls." "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" is perfect if you're looking to indulge in some early aughts Lohan teen nostalgia.

Bring It On

The dance movie genre really came into its own in the 1990s and by 2000 it had collided with teen comedies, culminating in "Bring It On." Kirsten Dunst takes the lead as Rancho Carne High School's new cheer captain Torrance Shipman. Her team, the Toros, has their eye on a sixth consecutive national title, but their new team member Missy Pantone (Eliza Dushku) reveals that they've unwittingly been performing stolen routines from a rival cheer team in Los Angeles. The Clovers, led by Isis (Gabrielle Union), become the Toros fiercest competition, but as Torrance grows into her role as team leader, she learns that winning might not be the most important thing.

Like "Mean Girls," "Bring It On" had an impressive cultural impact, thanks to its focus on topics like systemic racial inequality, intersectional feminism, and cultural appropriation. The film holds up well over 20 years later and it has given rise to not only a Broadway musical of the same name, but an entire franchise of films, which further explore these issues. Dunst and Union shine in their respective roles while the film has been praised for giving "the overlooked and ostracized the chance to see themselves on screen," as screenwriter Jessica Bendinger put it in an interview with I-D.


Miley Cyrus appeared in several quintessential coming-of-age films in the late aughts and early 2010s (notably "Hannah Montana: The Movie" and "The Last Song") but we don't think there's one movie "Mean Girls" fans would enjoy more than "LOL." The 2012 comedy-drama stars Cyrus as the titular character Lola, who goes by Lol, as she navigates high school relationships, friendships, and first experiences. In the opening scene Lol breaks up with her boyfriend Chad (George Finn) after finding out he cheated on her over the summer. She's hurt, but not hung up on it for too long because she's really in love with her best friend, Kyle (Douglas Booth). Their relationship is fraught with challenges which aren't helped by Lola's turbulent relationship with her mother, Anne (Demi Moore).

"Mean Girls" fans will love what "LOL" brings to the screen. Both films focus on the lies teenagers tell while trying to figure out who they are. Like Cady, Lola is just trying to get through high school the best she can and she makes some bad decisions along the way. She even tries to make Kyle jealous by faking a relationship with another childhood friend, Jeremy, played by Jean-Luc Bilodeau, which doesn't go down well.

Before I Fall

The Ry Russo-Young directed teen drama "Before I Fall" is aesthetically darker and edgier than "Mean Girls," but the movies are extremely similar at their core. The 2017 film has the same high school cliques and moral message as its predecessor. "Before I Fall" stars "Set It Up" actor Zoey Deutch as Samantha "Sam" Kingston, a popular high school student. She and her group of snobby friends are essentially Cady and The Plastics, but the film subtly points out that the reasons for their nasty behavior aren't as black and white as Regina George's.

For the first 20 minutes of the film, you might think you're watching a modern version of "Mean Girls," but the narrative completely changes when Sam begins to live the same day over and over again. The film revolves around Sam's high school experience and proves that your actions can really make a difference to yourself and the people around you. Sam's behavior changes each day and this makes every day so different (even though it's technically the same day), culminating in unique events at the high school party she attends each night. Anyone who enjoyed Cady's character arc in "Mean Girls" will appreciate the moral message that "Before I Fall" leaves behind; that being yourself really can make a difference.

Legally Blonde

Having a central high school setting isn't a prerequisite for movies on this list, although it is a common theme. One film that doesn't share that element, but is instead set within the realm of higher education, is the 2001 cult-classic "Legally Blonde." Reese Witherspoon plays the film's lead character, Elle Woods, who has a penchant for fashion, her chihuahua Bruiser, and her Delta Nu sorority sisters. When her college boyfriend Warner Huntington III (Matthew Davis) breaks up with her so he can find someone more respectable to date at Harvard Law School, Elle sets out to prove she's more than good enough for him. She hits the books and gets into Harvard Law... What, like it's hard?

"Mean Girls" fans will love Elle's transformation throughout the film, which sees her become the best, most authentic version of herself. She might have started out chasing a guy (who in our humble opinion didn't deserve her to begin with) but at Harvard Elle discovers she's worth way more than Warner and starts to thrive on her own merit. Of course, there are a few twists and turns along the way, too. Elle's actions, which defy social expectations and "dumb blonde" stereotypes at every turn, give this film a strong feminist message which, as Robert Egbert of the Chicago Sun Times pointed out, is "impossible to dislike." The "Legally Blonde" franchise continued with a sequel in 2003, a Broadway musical in 2007, and a third movie is in the works.

Return to Halloweentown

Since its initial release on Disney Channel in 1998, the magical "Halloweentown" franchise has boasted a significant cult following. The series' fourth and final installment "Return to Halloweentown" premiered on the channel in 2006. It follows the now fully certified teen witch Marnie Piper, who heads off to Witch University in the other-worldly realm of Halloweentown. Sara Paxton plays Marnie, having taken over the role from Kimberly J. Brown.

Although the film's predecessor "Halloweentown High" dealt with Marnie's high school experience, it is "Return to Halloweentown" which best resembles Tina Fey's teen comedy. Through its fantastical narrative, the film addresses issues like popularity versus authenticity, bullying, and speaking up for yourself. The school bullies are the Sinister sisters who are the magical embodiment of The Plastics. The film even includes a slow motion shot of the trio walking down a corridor in a scene that will look very familiar to "Mean Girls" fans. Scarlett, Sapphire and Sage Sinister (played by Kristy Wu, Kellie Cockrell, and Katie Cockrell respectively) try to make Marnie look bad at every turn, but thankfully her friends have her back.

Lucas Grabeel, Joey Zimmerman and Summer Bishil round out this magical cast, and there's even a few cameos from Debbie Reynolds who plays Marnie's grandmother.

High School Musical

Although the Disney Channel has produced excellent film and TV content for almost 40 years, it experienced something of a mini golden age in the early and mid-noughties. During that period it produced a slew of TV movies like "Cadet Kelly," "The Cheetah Girls," and the "Halloweentown" franchise. And, if you were searching for Disney's pinnacle of teenage high school rom-coms at the time, you'd have to look no further than "High School Musical," which premiered in 2006.

Teenagers Gabriella Montez and Troy Bolton meet over winter break while on respective family holidays and hit it off after being called to do a karaoke duet. They expect never to see each other again, but a few scenes later, the film reveals Gabriella is actually a new student at Troy's high school, East High. Troy and Gabriella are from different worlds — or at least naturally belong to different social circles — though this fact didn't matter when they met on New Year's Eve. They start singing together and audition for their school's winter musical, but neither of their friend groups is impressed by the pair upsetting the status quo.

Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel play musical drama-loving twins Sharpay and Ryan Evans, who are essentially the mean kids of the school. You won't miss the physical similarities between Sharpay and Regina George or the way they torment their respective protagonists. "Mean Girls" fans will also see similar plot elements like the changing of school cliques and the quintessential "be true to yourself" message.


Before Regina George, Gretchen Wieners, and Karen Smith graced the big screen, the Heathers were the ultimate mean girl clique. Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty), Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk), and queen bee Heather Chandler (Kim Walker) ruled Westberg High School along with the fourth member of their group, Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder). In this black high school comedy, Veronica tries to choose a different path than the rest of her clique and she teams up with new student Jason "J.D." Dean (Christian Slater) to punish Heather Chandler for her reign of tyranny. Their prank doesn't exactly have the desired effect, and their actions have some pretty extreme consequences.

Although it's firmly rooted in the '80s thanks to the fashion and slang the characters use, "Heathers" is a timeless teen film. It enjoys a cult following more than 30 years later and deals with the same high school topics that modern teen comedies do — like peer pressure, upsetting the high school social hierarchy, and teenage suicide. While "Heathers" takes things to extremes, both "Mean Girls" and the 1988 comedy traffic in rumors, reputations, and problematic teenage gossip. Any fan of Tina Fey's 2004 comedy will definitely want to watch "Heathers." And if not, then what's your damage, Heather?


Olivia Wilde's directorial debut brought "Booksmart" to the big screen. The 2019 film stars Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever as long-time best friends and impending high school graduates. The night before their graduation, Molly (Feldstein) and Amy (Dever) realize that they perhaps spent too much time with their heads in books and not enough time with their high school peers. However, the pair decide it's never too late to create some high school memories and try their best to cram four years of parties into one long night. Billie Lourd, Jessica Williams, Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte, and Jason Sudeikis round out the film's cast.

After its theatrical release, "Booksmart" was flooded by positive critical results and it currently holds a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Of course, we don't blindly follow critical ratings, but in our humble opinion, "Booksmart" is a modern coming-of-age story that balances comedy with inclusivity.

The film draws parallels to other high school comedies, too. It addresses reputations and stereotyping like "Heathers," and later we see Molly and Amy realizing they don't have to stick to the status quo, a classic "High School Musical" trait. And, like "Mean Girls," friendship is the cornerstone of the film with A.O. Scott of The New York Times dubbing Feldstein and Dever as "a classic comedy duo."

Work It

One tried and tested comedy trope is "the lie." It's often an innocent little white lie that spirals into something much bigger as the film goes on and the protagonist then has to keep defending it. In the case of the 2020 Netflix flick "Work It," the movie's protagonist Quinn Ackerman (Sabrina Carpenter) lies to Duke University's college admissions rep Veronica Ramirez (Michelle Buteau) about being a high school dance champion to improve her chances of getting into the school.

In a bid to turn her lie into reality, Quinn tries out for her high school dance team but is rebuffed by its elitist leader Juilliard Pembroke (Keiynan Lonsdale). Determined not to give up, Quinn and her best friend, Jasmine Hale (Liza Koshy), start their own dance team with a group of fellow outcasts and enlist the help of former dance champion Jake Taylor (Jordan Fisher).

"Work It" was directed by Laura Terruso while Alison Peck penned the script and Alicia Keys jumped on deck as a producer. The film draws inspiration from past high school dance films like "Bring It On," "Step-Up," and "Save the Dance," but with this trio of women at the helm it also brings a timely and modern energy to the screen. The dance-off premise is one teen comedy viewers know well, but "Work It" succeeds in not just being derivative of the past. Decider reported that the movie hits all the marks to be uplifting, engaging, and fun.

What a Girl Wants

While 17-year-old American teenager Daphne Reynolds (Amanda Bynes) has no idea what she wants to do after she graduates high school, there's one place she's always wanted to go — England to see her father. Of course, her dad, Lord Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth), doesn't know Daphne even exists, which makes getting to know him rather tricky at first.

Though it's not set within the walls of a high school, the 2003 film "What a Girl Wants" is a very entertaining teen comedy. Like Cady, Daphne is forced to become someone she's not in order to fit in. As she attempts to impress her dad as the perfect socialite daughter — an image that better suits his political campaign — Daphne begins to lose a part of herself in the process. However, it appears that only her sort-of-boyfriend Ian Wallace (Oliver James) has noticed the cost of her transformation, an observation which doesn't go over too well when he points it out. With mean girls trying to tear her down and a mom who's a continent away, Daphne has a lot to contend with.

"What a Girl Wants" might seem like an amalgamation of teen comedy tropes you've seen before. However, Bynes' performance will keep you entertained as she "adeptly straddles the line between romantic heroine and physical comedienne," per TV Guide.

Sierra Burgess is a Loser

"Sierra Burgess is a Loser" was another addition to Netflix's 2018 teen comedy roster. The film follows two polar opposite characters; overachieving but invisible teen Sierra Burgess (Shannon Purser) and popular cheerleader Veronica (Kristine Froseth). When Sierra starts getting texts from an unknown number, that turns out to be Jamey (Noah Centineo) a football player from another high school, it quickly becomes clear that he thinks he's messaging Veronica. While Sierra quickly realizes this, she develops a crush on Jamey and keeps texting him, anyway.

Sierra's text crush turns into full-blown catfishing when she enlists the real Veronica to help her video call with Jamey and offers to tutor her in exchange. As the film progresses, Sierra and Veronica discover that they're not so different after all and the pair form a friendship. However, there's still the issue of catfishing Jamey to contend with.

"Sierra Burgess is a Loser" takes inspiration from Edmond Rostand's classic 1897 novel "Cyrano de Bergerac," but gives the story a modern facelift. The film plays on the themes of body image, navigating high school as a social outcast, and pretending to be someone you're not (literally!).

The Outcasts

High school outcasts rising up to take down the popular crowd is a tried and tested teen comedy formula. Peter Hutchings directed the 2017 film "The Outcasts" which follows two outsider best friends, Jodi Schellenberger (Victoria Justice) and Mindy Lipschitz (Eden Sher), who are sick of being the butt of high school pranks. They have finally had enough of living under the thumb of the school's mean girls Whitney Bennett (Claudia Lee) and Mackenzie Smith (Peyton List) and decide to take them down once and for all by "beating those fascists at their own game." 

Jodi and Mindy team up with several other social outcasts including Virginia (Ashley Rickards), Claire (Katie Chang), Martin (Noah Robbins), and Howard (Alex Shimizu) to carry out their plan.

However, as is the case with most comedies where the outsiders try to overthrow the popular clique, they take it too far. Soon this group of misfits finds more comfort in seeking revenge than dispensing justice. Along with its revenge premise, the film's central narrative includes a romantic rivalry and some seriously entertaining pranks, which makes "The Outcasts" a solid teen comedy "Mean Girls" fans will definitely enjoy.

Not Another Teen Movie

"Not Another Teen Movie" is a high school comedy that successfully parodies tropes from its predecessors. The 2001 film has a large ensemble cast that includes Chris Evans, Chyler Leigh, Eric Christian Olsen, Jaime Pressly, Mia Kirshner, Deon Richmond, and Cody McMains. "Mean Girls" actor Lacey Chabert also has a supporting role.

Leigh's Janey Briggs is a combination of characters from "She's All That," "10 Things I Hate About You," and "Pretty in Pink," while Evans' character Jake is the stereotypical high school jock. After his best friend Austin (Olsen) bets him he can't turn Janey into the next prom queen to spite his ex-girlfriend Pricilla (Pressly), Jake attempts to woo Janey. Meanwhile, Janey's younger brother Mitch (McMains) makes a pact with his friends to lose his virginity — most of this particular storyline plays out on prom night.

Along with the classic high school party and prom scenes typically found in teen comedies, the film is full of formulaic high school tropes and stereotypical stock characters. However, "Not Another Teen Movie" presents them in an entertaining way which helps make this a timeless teen comedy. Evans and Leigh are an all-star pairing and their chemistry alone makes this film worth your time.

John Tucker Must Die

When three high school girls find out they've all been dating the same guy (John Tucker, played Jesse Metcalfe) and he's been pretending to be faithful to each of them, they band together to get revenge. However, they can't do it alone. Heather (Ashanti), Beth (Sophia Bush), and Carrie (Arielle Kebbel) recruit new girl Kate Spencer (Brittany Snow) to help them carry out their plan. What revenge plot ever goes exactly to plan, though? While Kate is pretending to date John so the girls can secretly humiliate him, she's actually falling for "the other Tucker," John's brother Scott (Penn Badgley) — talk about complicated!

If you're feeling nostalgic for "Mean Girls," this 2006 film perfectly captures the tone of Tina Fey's teen comedy. The combination of witty dialogue, a "She's All That" style transformation, an undercover plot, and a burgeoning secret romance is enough to make "John Tucker Must Die" an entertaining addition to the teen comedy roster. The film's Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes far outweighs the critical rating, proving just how beloved "John Tucker Must Die" has become over the years. If you loved "Mean Girls," "The Duff," and "Wild Child," then this film is for you.

Picture This

The 2008 teen romantic comedy "Picture This" stars Ashley Tisdale, Shenae Grimes-Beech, Laura Collins, Cindy Busby, Robbie Amell, and Kevin Pollak. It follows Tisdale's character Mandy Gilbert, who's the sweet, but unpopular girl next door. Mandy has never had a boyfriend, but she wants to change her high school legacy before she turns 18 — so she tries out for the swim team, hoping to get close to her crush, Drew Patterson (Amell). It works (sort of) and Drew invites Mandy to his house for the biggest high school party of the year. However, her overbearing dad (Pollak) and sworn enemy Lisa (Busby) have other ideas and both are doing their best to keep them apart at every turn.

This made-for-TV movie flew under the radar when it premiered on ABC, but it's now regarded as one of Tisdale's best film roles. Her character Mandy is a charming and relatable high school teen, and that was the reason Tisdale was attracted to the film, which her company Blondie Girl Productions also produced. "Mandy's real and I think a lot of kids will relate to that," Tisdale explained in a press release. "It reminds me a lot of when I was in high school. I wasn't really in the popular group, but I wasn't in the nerdy group. I was somewhere in the middle, too."

The Devil Wears Prada

"The Devil Wears Prada" is another film which deviates from the standard high school aspect of a teen comedy, but it has a decidedly "Mean Girls" feel. The movie follows aspiring journalist Andrea "Andy" Sachs (Anne Hathaway) who recently graduated from Northwestern University. After a lot of job hunting, Andy lands a position as an assistant to Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), the editor-in-chief of Runway Magazine, a character who was based on Vogue's editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. It's not remotely the kind of journalism Andy wants to do, but it's a job that hundreds of other girls would kill for and, if she can stick it out for a year, Andy can have her pick of newspaper jobs.

Runway Magazine might be an adult playing field rather than the halls of a high school, but there are still mean girls all the same. Andy must tolerate Emily (Emily Blunt), her infuriating co-assistant as well as impossible demands from her boss. As Andy starts to assimilate into the world of fashion models and cocktail parties (something she always used to ridicule), she begins spending less and less time with her chef boyfriend Nate (Adrian Grenier).

While the cultural impact of this 2006 comedy-drama can't be quantified, there's a lot to keep you entertained in "The Devil Wears Prada." It's been a classic since it was released and will continue to be a fan favorite for years to come.


If you've loved some of the more musical recommendations on this list, like "Dumplin'" and "High School Musical," then you'll definitely appreciate "Hairspray." The 2007 film is based on the Broadway musical which first debuted in 2002. It stars Nikki Blonsky as the central character Tracy Turnblad while Amanda Bynes portrayed her sweet but sheltered best friend Penny Lou Pingleton. The pair are obsessed with "The Corny Collins Show," which features dancers from their high school, notably Tracy's crush, Link Larkin (Zac Efron). Tracy gets a spot on the show and becomes one of its best dancers and enjoys spending more time with Link — all the while pushing for more integration in real life and on TV.

"Hairspray" provides not only an entertaining teen musical romantic comedy, but a relevant social commentary despite its 1962 setting. The film addresses a variety of important topics, namely systemic racism and body image, but still maintains a light, comedic tone. It also includes a few commonplace teen tropes like bullying, popularity and merging high school cliques.

John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brittany Snow, Queen Latifah, Elijah Kelley and James Marsden round out the film's impressive cast.

Lady Bird

Before she was Mary Stuart or Jo March, Saoirse Ronan was Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson. "Lady Bird" is a coming-of-age comedy-drama that follows the self-titled character Lady Bird through the turmoil of adolescence from 2002 to 2003. She and her best friend Julie (Beanie Feldstein) have returned to their all-girls Catholic high school for their senior year, which turns out to be anything but straightforward. Lady Bird is desperate to leave California and attend an East coast school but she fights with her mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf) about it, who tells her daughter she's too ungrateful.

Along with college admission pressure, Lady Bird is trying to figure out who she is, but with each step she takes toward finding herself, she moves further away from her friends and family. Like Cady in "Mean Girls," Lady Bird ditches her friends in favor of a more popular crowd which includes Timothée Chalamet's character Kyle.

"Lady Bird" was a critical smash when it was released in 2017 and it still retains a 99% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes — the highest on this list. It's helmed by the critically acclaimed director Greta Gerwig who reunited with both Ronan and Chalamet for "Little Women" in 2019.

Sydney White

For almost a decade, every film Amanda Bynes touched turned to cinematic gold. She was the star of several teen comedies, from "She's the Man" to "What a Girl Wants" to "Sydney White." The latter, which premiered on the big screen in 2007, saw Bynes graduate from high school to college student as the film's titular character, Sydney White. Sydney's biggest wish was to be a sister at SAU's Kappa sorority, just like her late mom. However, not long after she arrives, Sydney realizes Kappa, which is led by mean girl Rachel Witchburn (Sara Paxton), is not the kind of sorority she wants to be part of.

Sydney leaves Kappa and, after being homeless for less than 20 minutes, lands on her feet when she is offered a room in an overflow student house called the Vortex. After some hesitation, she and her housemates band together so that one of them can run for student council president, ousting Rachel from her position of power in the process.

"Sydney White" is ultimately a film about a group of outcasts, but while it relies heavily on the teen comedy trope, it's not the same film you've seen before. These clichéd plot elements feel totally fresh and entertaining with Bynes leading the charge. Matt Long, Crystal Hunt, Jack Carpenter, Jeremy Howard, Adam Hendershott, and Danny Strong round out the central cast.

A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish

Almost two decades on from Hilary Duff's 2004 film, the "Cinderella Story" franchise is still going strong. We think the fifth installment is another movie "Mean Girls" fans will adore. "A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish" feels just like "Mean Girls" with Katherine "Kat" Decker's unbearable step-family making her miserable. Laura Marano plays Kat while Johannah Newmarch plays her Regina George-esque step-mother Deirdra. Lillian Doucet-Roche and Chanelle Peloso play cruel step-sisters Joy and Grace.

"Christmas Wish" is set during the Christmas holidays before Kat's eighteenth birthday. Kat has only ever had her best friend Isla (Isabella Gomez) to confide in. However, while working at Santa Land, she meets Dominic Wintergarden (Gregg Sulkin), a kind guy who invites her to be his date to his father's Christmas gala. Of course, Deirdra is on hand to put a stop to all of Kat's happiness, crushing her dreams of being a singer/songwriter, stealing all of her hard-earned money, and literally stopping her from going to the gala by burning her ticket.

The 2019 movie echoes the plot of the "Cinderella" fairytale, as well as the original "A Cinderella Story" film. However, it puts a fun Christmas spin on an old narrative and refreshes it with an original soundtrack.

Mean Girls 2

This list wouldn't be complete without mentioning "Mean Girls 2," which is essentially a reboot of the original film. "Mean Girls" writer Tina Fey was adamant she didn't want to do a sequel and so passed on the film. Instead, Paramount Pictures brought in Allison Schroeder ("Hidden Figures") and writing duo Elana Lesser and Cliff Ruby ("Dragon Tales") to pen the script, while Melanie Mayron ("The Baby-Sitters Club") directed. It went straight to DVD in 2011.

"Mean Girls 2" has some definite Easter eggs from the original movie — like Tim Meadows reprising his role as Principal Duvall at North Shore High — but, for the most part, it's a standalone film. The movie stars Meaghan Martin as Jo Mitchell (essentially Cady Heron 2.0) while the new Plastics are played by Maiara Walsh, Claire Holt, and Nicole Gale Anderson. Diego Boneta's Tyler Adams and Jennifer Stone's Abby Hanover are basically Jo's version of Aaron Samuels and Janice Ian.

Instead of joining The Plastics like Cady does, Jo and her friends make their intentions to destroy them clear. However, Jo becomes obsessed with taking them down and this preoccupation begins to turn her into someone Tyler and Abby don't even recognize. Even though "Mean Girls 2" isn't a direct sequel, fans of the 2004 film will definitely recognize some familiar themes about identity and being true to yourself.