For many people, no teen film is better than Mean Girls. It has it all: a screenplay by the beloved Tina Fey, hilarious jokes that lend themselves to easy memorization, and the message that just being yourself is the best thing to do. It's rare that a film that features a makeover will feel so fresh and honest and real.
While there are some missteps in the teen movie genre every once in a while, there are just as many movies that are worth watching over and over again. These flicks are good as anything by John Hughes and bring something new to the coming-of-age table. Here are 10 great teen movies to watch if you love Mean Girls.
10 Whip It (2009)
With a smart script by Shauna Cross (who wrote the book the movie is based) on and directed by Drew Barrymore, the 2009 movie Whip It is definitely a great teen movie that fans of Mean Girls should check out. Both films share a rebellious spirit and the positive message about being quirky, different, and true to yourself.
Ellen Page's main character, Bliss Cavendar, deserves to be considered one of the best protagonists of a teen movie. She joins a roller derby team and doesn't care that her family wants her to be a Beauty Queen instead. She's the opposite of Lindsay Lohan's Mean Girls character, Cady Heron, as she has more courage, guts, and belief in herself, but both are relatable teen girls.
9 Booksmart (2019)
Booksmart is another great pick if you're a big fan of Mean Girls. The two main characters, Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever), are the very best of friends and their entire lives revolve around studying and achieving. Considered the female Superbad, this movie was directed by Olivia Wilde and sees Molly and Amy decide to experience partying before leaving high school in the dust.
It would be easy to picture these best pals in the Mean Girls universe, poking fun at Regina George and The Plastics and believing that working hard is more important than wondering if butter is a carb and wearing the same clothes as your best friends.
8 Eighth Grade (2018)
Kayla Day (Elsie Fisher) and Cady are both insecure, impressionable high schoolers who want to be popular and fit in. Both of their journeys are easy to relate to, which is why Bo Burham's incredible film Eighth Grade deserves to be considered as much of a classic as Mean Girls is.
Just as Cady moves deeper into the world of The Plastics and starts acting like them, it would be easy to see Kayla acting the same way if she was in that situation. In both cases, viewers want to reach out and give these teen girls a big hug, telling them that it's all going to be okay.
7 Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004)
This movie has two things in common with Mean Girls: Lindsay Lohan is the star and the main character pretends to be someone else in order to find popularity and happiness.
This time around, Lohan plays a teenage girl named Lola who wants nothing more than to be a successful actress who everyone knows. The more dramatic she can make her life, the better. She pretends that she has plans to go to a concert of Sidarthur, a band who is playing their final show. Just like Cady's main enemy is Regina George, the mean girl in this film is Carla (Megan Fox). Of course, like Cady, Lola realizes that she's done fighting and that peace is the way to go.
6 Thirteen (2003)
At first glance, the 2003 film Thirteen, which tells the story of Tracy (Evan Rachel Wood), who becomes a totally different person after becoming good friends with a tough girl named Evie (Nikki Reed), is much more serious than Mean Girls. The film is inspired by Reed's pre-teen days when she experienced a similar dark time.
Both movies have one thing in common, though: telling an honest tale of a teenage girl who changes so much that she can't even recognize herself. The movie also features a strong performance by Holly Hunter as Tracy's mom.
5 The Craft (1996)
The Craft may be considered a cheesy film from the '90s, but it has some Mean Girls DNA (or Mean Girls has some Craft DNA, which is more logical). Just like Mean Girls has the misfits (Damien and Janice, who are, of course, cooler than anyone else) and The Plastics, The Craft has the four main characters who don't fit in with their perfect high school classmates.
It's always interesting to see how the story of popularity can be told in a film. Here, the characters practice witchcraft, which adds a scary and campy element that makes this a unique film.
4 Lady Bird (2017)
If you love the snarky, hilarious tone of Mean Girls, you'll love the same thing about the 2017 film Lady Bird. The movie, written and directed by Greta Gerwig, stars Saoirse Ronan as Christine McPherson, a teenage girl who goes by "Lady Bird."
Just like Cady navigates her new high school by becoming part of The Plastics (and losing who she is), Lady Bird can't stop pretending that she hates the California town that she comes from.
3 She's All That (1999)
A classic '90s romantic comedy that is also a perfect teen movie, She's All That stars Rachel Leigh Cook as Laney Boggs, a smart and dorky teen girl who is made over so she's the object of Freddie Prinze Jr.'s affection.
Both She's All That and Mean Girls are about makeovers and how you can become lost when you try to be someone else. For that reason, they both deserve to be considered truly great teen flicks.
2 Wish Upon A Star (1996)
Released in 1996, Wish Upon A Star is about two sisters who swap places and get to see how the other one lives. Hayley Wheaton (Danielle Harris) is smart and unpopular, and her big sis Alexia (Katherine Heigl) has it all, from popular pals to a cute boyfriend.
Although this film is much cornier than Mean Girls, it's also about whether being liked by everyone and wearing the coolest clothes is really worth it.
1 Heathers (1988)
The Heathers in this dark comedy from the late '80s and The Plastics have a lot in common: they rule the school, they dress in a similar way, and they're super mean, manipulative, and cunning.
Of course, Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty), Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk), and Queen Bee Heather Chandler (Kim Walker) are a lot crueler than Regina, Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried), and Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert) could ever be, but the movies do share the same message that the quest for popularity can be taken way too far.