A scene from Mean Girls. "On Wednesday's we wear pink."

A scene from Mean Girls. "On Wednesday's we wear pink."

In news to make you feel ancient, next month the now cult comedy Mean Girls celebrates its tenth anniversary.  If you somehow managed to skip watching the pre-Liz Lemon Tina Fey penned flick, the 2004 film stars a pre-scandal Lindsay Lohan as Cady Heron, a 16-year-old who after being home schooled in Africa must face the much scarier wilds that are high school. Proving that the casting director probably deserved a raise, the film also stars a then-unknown Rachel McAdams as Regina George, the sort of uber manipulative bully who uses snide remarks and sneaky put-downs as her weapon of choice to maintain her status as ruler of the school.

(Oh, and it also follows the grand teen pop culture tradition of having McAdams be way too old to be in high school. She was 25 when the movie came out, while Amy Poehler in a brilliant cameo as her mother was only seven years older than McAdams.)

Lindsay Lohan has given fans hope by mentioning to Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show that some sort of reunion might be in the works.

A scene from Mean Girls.

A scene from Mean Girls.

Tina Fey managed expectations by telling Access Hollywood that the reunion would not be a movie, instead “at most it would be like a panel discussion with a plate of hot wings”. (Before you start crying onto your Kalteen bars, there’s a Mean Girls musical still in the pipeline scored by no less than Tina Fey’s husband, Jeff Richmond.)

So why is Mean Girls so beloved even ten years down the track? (After all not every movie has fans so ardent a tribute jewellery line is released.) Every generation needs its own Heathers and Fey thoughtfully provided that to Generation Y. Fey’s script was so razor sharp, that even a throwaway line like ‘You go, Glen Coco’ has its own Urban Dictionary entry and sweatshirt available for purchase.

The film tackles the serious issues of bullying, finding your own identity and standing up for what you believe in, but it never loses sight of the fact that it’s a comedy first and foremost with a rapid-fire approach to joke telling. Basically there’s a quote for every occasion be it ‘That’s just, like, the rules of feminism’ or ‘Whatever, I’m getting cheese fries’.

A scene from Mean Girls.

A scene from Mean Girls.

It isn’t just the witty dialogue though that has kept Mean Girls feeling fresh. Fey’s source material and inspiration for the film was Rosalind Wiseman’s non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes, which examined the power structures of teen girl cliques and the bullying behaviour that can occur.

The script perfectly manages to capture the sometimes sweet but often sour mix that characterises unhealthy teen girl friendships – after all Regina George flung around ‘loser’ like it was almost a term of endearment.  It’s this basis in reality that can make you still sigh with relief that high school is in the past upon rewatching the film.

Fey also avoids the girl-on-girl crime of demonising any of her creations, instead she tries to treat them with understanding and empathy. Even the ultimate mean girl Regina isn’t evil – she’s in part a product of Poehler’s character’s boundary-less ‘cool mom’ style of parenting. The character of Cady is written with shades of grey too, as she’s certainly no saint in the film and soon finds her own ethical boundaries blurred as she tries to survive high school.

A scene from Mean Girls.

A scene from Mean Girls.

While the film might have been made for teens, Fey herself says that it works for both adult and younger viewers. In one interview she did in 2004 she explained,

“Adults find it funny. They are the ones who are laughing. Young girls watch it like a reality show. It’s much too close to their real experiences so they are not exactly guffawing.”

Even watching it again now, the film has plenty of Fey’s smart feminist advice that remains relevant for adult women, like ‘stop calling each other sluts and whores – it just makes it ok for guys to call you sluts and whores’.

Rachel Bilson was your style icon. She wore flared jeans. Click for more photos

The clothes you wore in the early 2000s

Rachel Bilson was your style icon. She wore flared jeans. Photo: Getty

  • Rachel Bilson was your style icon. She wore flared jeans.
  • And boho-y ensembles.
  • Sienna Miller was your other style icon and you described your style as 'boho-chic, with a splash of designer'.
  • The Dior saddle bag was the bag to have. That or the Balenciaga motorcycle bag. Or anything Louis Vuitton cherry blossom.
  • Like this.
  • You told everyone that you were 'such a Carrie' and bought a nameplate necklace just like hers. And also oversized corsages, a bubble dress and um, the list goes on.
  • You paired cargo pants with high heels, preferably really point ones. So edgy/combat chic.
  • The Von Dutch trucker hats. Whhhyyy? Also, belts with really big belt buckles.
  • Your jeans were probabl Tsubi.
  • You probably wore a maxi-dress, and you definitely put a belt on it, sometimes in places that just didn't make sense.
  • Your jeans were absurdly low. The fear of plumbers crack could not prise your super low-rise hipster jeans from your cold, dead hands.
  • And your rah rah skirt went with everything. Especially slogan t-shirts.
  • Without this we would never have the Victoria Beckham we have today. Besides, being a WAG and wearing a bandage dress was simply the thing to do in the naughties.

And in reasons to continue to celebrate the film, best of all its release was another counterargument to the tedious industry ‘wisdom’ that movies focusing on women don’t make money – it grossed almost $130 million worldwide from an estimated budget of $17 million.

But if you still need further evidence that it’s fine to continue to quote Mean Girls long after you’ve stopped being carded, we have found ironclad proof.

Turns out even President Obama may be a fan – last year the official White House Twitter account tweeted a picture of the presidential pup, Bo, holding a ball with the caption ‘Bo, stop trying to make fetch happen’. Now that’s grool.