The ’80s had The Breakfast Club, the ’90s had Clueless, and in 2004 Tina Fey gave the ’00s their own classic teen movie to go down in the annals of film history. Mean Girls was the hilarious, instantly quotable and deceptively smart teen comedy that became permanently fixed in the popular culture. Who hasn’t quoted “Stop trying to make fetch happen, it’s not going to happen!” or “You can’t sit with us” or even “On Wednesdays we wear pink” from time to time. They’re so often quoted, that all three of these lines became internet memes.
The pink, plastic world of Cady, Karen, Gretchen, and Regina turned 12 this year and in the ensuing years the cast have been out there doing their thang (as Kevin G might say). Some have kept a low profile (or worse) while others have traded in their seat at the plastic’s cafeteria table for a seat next to the Hollywood A-list. So get in loser, we’re going on a trip down memory lane. Here’s Where Are They Now: The Cast Of Mean Girls.
15. Tina Fey (Ms. Norbury)
Not only did this SNL alum play math teacher Ms. Norbury, she also wrote the screenplay. One of the reasons this teen comedy became an instant classic was its witty dialogue and endless quotable lines, all thanks to Tina Fey’s own personal brand of humour. There’s a reason she was head writer at SNL for 7 years.
Since Mean Girls, Fey’s career has really skyrocketed and she has become one of the most recognizable faces in comedy. In 2006 she created and starred in the cult comedy TV series 30 Rock for 7 seasons (during which she won 6 Emmys for her work). She has starred in movies like Baby Mama, Date Night, Megamind, This Is Where I Leave You, Sisters, and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Fey also wrote an autobiography Bossypants that topped the New York Times Bestsellers List for 5 weeks.
In 2013, Fey and her comedy bestie Amy Poehler (who also makes an appearance in Mean Girls), hosted the 70th Golden Globe Awards, and were so well received that they went on to host for the next two years. More recently she is responsible for creating Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (in which she guest stars) and just sold a new comedy series, The Sackett Sisters, to NBC.
14. Amy Poehler (Mrs. George)
Of course it wouldn’t be a Tina Fey movie if her best friend Amy Poehler wasn’t somehow involved. Poehler, nearly unrecognizable in Juicy Couture and fake boobs, played “cool mom” Mrs. George. In real life she was only 7 years older than on screen daughter Rachel McAdams.
Since then Poehler’s career has taken off right alongside Fey’s, and together they are probably two of the biggest names in comedy. Poehler, like Fey, went on to star in her own wildly popular show, Parks and Recreation, where she played everyones favorite government employee Leslie Knope for 7 seasons. She’s also starred in countless movies throughout the years including Blades Of Glory, They Came Together, A Very Murray Christmas, and Sisters. Most recently though she voiced the character of Joy in the hugely successful Disney Pixar film Inside Out and reprised her role of Susie in the Wet Hot American Summer prequel series.
13. Diego Klattenhoff (Shane Oman)
Diego Klattenhoff had a small but memorable role in the movie— he played Shane Oman, the guy Regina was cheating with in the projection room above the auditorium. AKA: that guy who had a scene in nothing but a pair of grey underwear. Apparently that scene made quite the impression in Hollywood, since he’s gone on to have a pretty solid career.
He appeared in Will Smith’s After Earth and the Guillermo del Torro blockbuster Pacific Rim, with Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba. On the small screen he’s also had guest roles in Smallville, Psych, Supernatural, ER, 24, Falling Skies, and Longmire.
In 2011 he scored a series regular role on the critically acclaimed series Homeland, playing Mike Faber, best friend of main character Nicholas Brody (Damien Lewis). But his biggest role to date is as Agent Donald Ressler, one of the main characters in NBC’s hit show The Blacklist, with James Spader. The show is currently in its fourth season and has already spawned a spin off.
12. Tim Meadows (Principle Duvall)
Another SNL cast member in the movie is Tim Meadows, aka Principle Duvall. Meadows was one of the longest running cast members on the sketch show before starring in the teen comedy, and his career has continued long after. Meadows has been in various comedy movies over the years including The Benchwarmers, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Grown Ups and its sequel, Jack and Jill, and Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck. This year he also co-starred in Andy Samberg’s celeb mockumentary Pop Star: Never Stop Never Stopping.
Meadows work on TV is even more extensive, having guest starred in The Office, Everybody Hates Chris, According to Jim, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Suburgatory, 30 Rock, The Goldbergs, and The Venture Bros. Phew! He also had recurring roles in Bob’s Burgers and The Colbert Report (as well as Colbert’s new late night show) and was a series regular on Glory Daze, Mr. Box Office, and Marry Me. Nowadays, you can catch him on Fox sitcom Son Of Zorn as one of the main cast.
11. Rajiv Surendra (Kevin Gnapoor)
All you sucka MCs ain’t got nothing on high school mathlete and rapper Kevin G. Actor Rajiv Surendra played Kevin Gnapoor, one of the movies biggest scene-stealers and clear winner of the Christmas talent show. Surendra has been pretty quiet in the industry since then– the last acting role on his IMDB page was in 2005. But in the recent years he has been developing other talents.
Surendra now works as an artist in New York, doing chalk art, pottery, and calligraphy. He’s decorated the walls of shops and art spaces in his New York neighbourhood, with his incredible chalk art and has his own website, Letters in Ink, dedicated to his calligraphy work. It’s really beautiful stuff.
He also wrote a memoir, called Elephants in My Backyard, in 2016 and drew the cover art. He still acts from time to time but only on a smaller scale and is still good friends with cast mate Daniel Franzese, who played Damien.
10. Ana Gasteyer (Cady’s Mum)
The fourth and final SNL member in the cast, Ana Gasteyer played Cady’s zoologist mother in the film. Before that, she was a cast member on the long-running sketch show from 1996 to 2002. Since Mean Girls, Gasteyer has been a film and TV comedy staple, appearing in many different roles over the years.
Gasteyer had roles in Reefer Madness: The Musical, The Women, That’s My Boy, and Rapture-Palooza, but it’s her career on the small screen that has really thrived. She has guest starred on Chuck, The Good Wife, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Mindy Project, and Younger. She’s had a recurring role in ABC’s ’80s-based sitcom The Goldbergs and was a series regular on Suburgatory with Jane Levy.
Most recently though Gasteyer, who is also a regular on the broadway and musical stages, appeared in 2016’s Grease: Live on Fox portraying Rydell High’s Principal McGee, a role made famous in the movie by Eve Arden.
9. Neil Flynn (Cady’s Dad)
Most famous for playing the crazy janitor in Scrubs, Neil Flynn also had a role in Mean Girls playing Cady’s father. Afterward he continued as the Janitor until the show ended in 2009 and went on working in films and TV. He appeared in the latest instalment of the Indy franchise, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull and lent his voice to the Sony Pictures Animation Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
He’s had guest roles in Smallville and Friends spinoff Joey, and has done voice work for King of the Hill, Bob’s Burgers, and the Arrowverse animated web series Vixen.
After Scrubs finished Flynn went on to star in the ABC sitcom The Middle with Everybody Loves Raymond star Patricia Heaton. He stars as the father of a dysfunctional, quirky working class family as they face their day to day struggles. The show is currently in its eighth season.
8. David Reale (Glen Coco)
You might not immediately recognise David Reale’s character by the above photo, but he might just be Mean Girls most famous character. He plays the king of the candy canes, Glen Coco! (Admit it when you read that name it was in Damien’s santa voice wasn’t it?) While he has no lines of dialogue, Glen stole the show and became Mean Girls resident meme.
During the scene where Gretchen Wieners angrily reads her Caesar assignment to the class, actor David Reale can be seen sitting in the front right of screen and he is credited as playing the infamous receiver of 4 candy canes. Since then Reale has upgraded from background extra to speaking roles, starring in various roles throughout the years. He appeared in the American version of Skins, Queer as Folk, and had a small role in fellow Mean Girls star Amanda Seyfried’s movie Chloe. He’s also given his voice to the Beyblade and Bakugan anime series.
Most recently though Reale has had a recurring role on popular US series Suits as Benjamin the IT guy. You go, Glen Coco!
7. Jonathan Bennett (Aaron Samuels)
When Tina Fey began the process of casting love interest Aaron Samuels, she confessed that Jonathan Bennett stood out to her because he looked like long time friend Jimmy Fallon. Good thing he did, since they almost cast James Franco in the role instead.
After discovering that his hair looks sexy pushed back as Aaron, Bennett continued acting over the years in various film and TV projects. He starred with Amanda Bynes in the rom-com Love Wrecked and was in the second Cheaper by the Dozen movie with Steve Martin, as well as starring as Bo Duke in the straight-to-DVD sequel to the Dukes Of Hazzard movie. He’s also starred in a couple of TV movies with Mean Girls castmate Lacey Chabert.
Bennett has also done quite a bit of work on TV, including guest spots on Veronica Mars, Smallville, The Glades, Hit the Floor, and MTV’s Awkward. In 2014, he also showed off his dance moves by finishing 9th place in that years Dancing with the Stars.
6. Daniel Franzese (Damien Leigh)
Damien was responsible for what was probably the movie’s funniest and most quoted line: “She doesn’t even go here!” Daniel Franzese, the man behind “too gay to function” Damien, is still acting and working in the industry. Since Mean Girls, he’s appeared in War of the Worlds and 2010’s I Spit on Your Grave remake as well as having had guest appearances on CSI and Party Down (with Mean Girls BFF Lizzy Caplan) and had a recurring role of HBO’s Looking and appeared in its subsequent movie. This year he was also cast as a series regular on Hayley Atwell’s new show Conviction (which was unfortunately cancelled last week). Aside from acting Franzese also works in the art world as a curator, curating a number of art shows about fame, celebrities, and popular culture.
In July of this year Franzese became engaged to his partner Joseph Bradley Phillips, proposing to him at the Starbucks where they first met. When he’s not busy doing all that, he can also be seen joining cast mates Lindsay Lohan and Rajiv Surendra in cute Instagram reunions.
5. Lizzie Caplan (Janis Ian)
Lizzie Caplan stole the hearts of every teenage misfit playing Janis “Suck on that!” Ian. We don’t know anyone who hasn’t at least tried the “your mom’s chest hair!” comeback on someone. Since then Caplan has been working pretty steadily, appearing in films like Cloverfield, 127 Hours, Bachelorette, and The Interview. Most recently she took over from Isla Fisher as the 4th Horseman in Now You See Me 2 with Jesse Eisenberg and Mark Ruffalo. She was even in a Marvel film– well, a short film anyway, playing a woman who comes across alien technology in Marvel One Shot Item 47.
But Caplan’s career has really taken off on the small screen, guest starring on True Blood, New Girl, and The League, and starring in cult comedy show Party Down. In 2013 she scored the lead role of Virginia Johnson Showtime’s award winning Masters of Sex, for which she was nominated for an Emmy in 2014.
4. Lacey Chabert (Gretchen Wieners)
Gretchen Wieners, daughter of the inventor of Toaster Strudel and user of the word “fetch”, was played by actress Lacey Chabert, who was the first and only choice for the role. Chabert was already quite well known at the time after starring in TV drama Party of Five, plus voicing Eliza Thornberry in The Wild Thornberrys and Meg in the 1st season of Family Guy (she was later replaced by Mila Kunis). She had also starred in Lost in Space, Not Another Teen Movie, and Daddy Day Care.
Since then Chabert has done a few mainstream films, like 2006’s remake of Black Christmas, but has mostly done TV movies and has done quite a lot of work with the Hallmark Channel. She’s starred in such films as Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3, A Royal Christmas, The Tree That Saved Christmas, All of My Heart, and Christian Mingle. All Oscar-worthy films, we’re sure.
3. Amanda Seyfried (Karen Smith)
Playing everyone’s favourite dumb blonde with “ESPN“, Karen, Amanda Seyfried stole the show with lines like “If you’re from Africa, why are you white?” Seyfried, who has since become a Hollywood leading lady, had never acted in a movie before playing the ditzy mean girl. She was considered for both the roles of Regina and Cady, before producers decided she should play Karen.
Since then she’s become known for not only her acting but also her singing skills, showing off her pipes in Mamma Mia! and as Cossette in 2012’s Les Miserables. She has starred in various movies over the years such as Red Riding Hood, Jennifer’s Body, Dear John, Letters To Juliet, In Time, Lovelace, Ted 2, and 2015’s unfortunate Peter Pan prequel Pan.
She’s also done TV work, playing the murdered friend of the title character in Veronica Mars, as well as one of the mains in HBO’s Big Love. In September of this year she announced her engagement to The Newsroom and Life in Pieces star Thomas Sadoski.
2. Rachel McAdams (Regina George)
Rachel McAdams shot to fame in 2004 when she starred as mean girl queen bee Regina George. In the same year she also starred in her other breakout role as Allie in the romantic drama The Notebook, alongside Ryan Gosling. She’s since become a Hollywood A-lister starring in hordes of popular movies like The Wedding Crashers, Red Eye, The Time Traveller’s Wife, About Time, Sherlock Holmes, The Vow, Midnight in Paris, and Southpaw.
She garnered her first Oscar nomination in 2015 for playing real life journalist Sacha Pfeiffer in Spotlight. She unfortunately didn’t win, but the movie itself did win Best Picture during the night. She also went on to star in the second season of True Detective, although she probably wishes she hadn’t.
McAdams recently joined the world’s biggest franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, playing Christine Palmer alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in this years Doctor Strange. Her career certainly fared a lot better than Mean Girls main actress Lindsay Lohan’s did…
1. Lindsay Lohan (Cady Heron)
Sigh. What hasn’t Lindsay Lohan been up to since Mean Girls? The once bright star has somewhat diminished in the past few years through drugs, alcohol, arrests, DUIs, and general bad girl behavior. Now more famous for the amount of rehabs rather than red carpets she’s visited, Lindsay has all but destroyed what was once a promising career.
During her post-Mean Girls career Lohan got the reputation of being unprofessional and diva-like on the sets of her movies, often staying out all night partying and showing up late the next day. In 2007 she was arrested for drunk driving and entered rehab. Two weeks after being released she was arrested again for drug possession, drunk driving, and driving on a suspended license. She has been in community service, was on probation, and even spent time in jail.
She has since attempted a career comeback, getting clean and starring in Labour Pains, Liz and Dick, Scary Movie 5, and The Canyons— none of which were particularly well-received. In 2014, Oprah broadcast an 8-part documentary called Lindsay, which followed her life after leaving rehab, and in 2015 a judge finally ended her nearly 8 year stint on probation, which will hopefully clear the way for a fresh start for Lohan. Most recently she’s been promoting her Greek nightclub in a totally bizarre new accent.