Cady Heron (Angourie Rice) has been living in Kenya and home-schooled by her research scientist mother (Jenna Fisher) for most of her life. Cady longs for a normal life and her mother realises this, so they return to the United States. Cady isn’t prepared, however, for life at North Shore High School where everyone is part of a group, with the ‘Plastics’ at the top of the pack. This group is led by queen bee Regina (Renee Rapp), with her followers Gretchen (Bebe Wood) and Karen (Avantika) doing whatever Regina demands.
At first, Cady is rejected by everyone but the odd couple Janis (Auli’I Cravalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey), who accept her as a friend. Janis used to be best friends with Regina in middle school, but they fell out and have been enemies since. When Regina takes a liking to Cady and invites her into her group, Janis sees this as an opportunity to take revenge on Regina. While Janis, Damian and Cady plot Regina’s downfall, Cady becomes increasingly more ‘plastic’, much to her mother’s despair. Cady also makes the fatal mistake of falling for Regina’s ex-boyfriend Aaron (Christopher Briney).
Musical; stereotypes; high school; bullying
Mean Girls has some violence. For example:
- A girl deliberately bumps into Cady.
- Cody nearly gets hit by a bus.
- A loud explosion occurs while Janis and Damian are watching TV. A window gets smashed.
- Aaron yells at Regina and throws her ‘burn book’ in anger.
- Regina falls heavily during a dance routine. Audience members video the consequences on their phones.
- A teenage party gets out of control at Cady’s house. The teenagers are all drinking, and the house gets trashed.
- Some fighting breaks out during a dance sequence.
- Regina gets hit by a bus and dies for 15 seconds but is revived.
Mean Girls has some sexual references. For example:
- A teacher leads a lesson on health and sexuality, discussing safe sex, abstinence and condom use.
- A boy says that if Cady jumps up and down, he can guess her bra size. Karen asks if she wants to have sex with him.
- Damian tells Cady that Janis and Regina fell out because Regina thought Janis was an obsessed lesbian.
- There’s some sexualised dancing at a talent show.
- Someone says they think they saw a nipple.
- A girl talks about her virginity and her menstrual flow.
- Cady and Aaron kiss romantically.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Mean Girls shows some use of substances. For example:
- Characters drink at a party. Gretchen, Karen and Cady are all affected by alcohol.
- Regina’s mother drinks and sometimes gets drunk.
Nudity and sexual activity
Mean Girls has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Many couples kiss passionately at school and parties.
- Several girls wear skimpy clothing, showing off large boobs.
- Regina and Aaron kiss passionately.
- Aaron finds Regina in a cupboard making out with another guy.
The following products are displayed or used in Mean Girls: Lays chips and Cheetos.
Mean Girls has some coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Mean Girls is a musical version of the original teenage comedy from 2004.
This 2024 version is more risqué than the original and pushes more boundaries, although this version has been classified PG, compared to the original, which was classified M. The 2024 version also introduces the damaging results of social media. Therefore this movie isn’t suitable for children aged under 12 years and is best suited to teenagers and adults.
The main messages from Mean Girls are that it’s more important to be true to yourself than to try to fit into a group or conform to expectations that aren’t right for you.
Values in Mean Girls that you could reinforce with your children include:
- standing up for yourself
- trying hard at school
- taking responsibility for your life and refusing to be a victim
- admitting mistakes and learning from them.
Mean Girls could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues and challenges like the influence of social media, bullying, slut-shaming and toxic friendships. You could talk about how to build resilience and other skills that can help your children handle these issues.