Warning: SPOILERS for 2024’s Mean Girls musical adaptation are in play. If you haven’t made fetch happen yet, you’ve been warned.
Revisiting the past through something like the new Mean Girls musical remake can be tricky. Walking a fine line between making references to the past and making something that the crowd seeking out 2024 movies will also dig is challenging, no matter what property tries to do it.
However, this new spin on the Tina Fey-scripted/Lindsay Lohan-starring comedy strikes that balance rather well. You can tell as much by reading what our own Corey Chichizola highlighted in CinemaBlend’s Mean Girls review, but you can also see it in the way this updated version tips its sexy mouse ears to its predecessor. So if it’s grool with you, I’m about to run through the best easter eggs we picked up on when watching the second coming of Regina George and her reign of terror.
When Damian (Jaquel Spivey) tries to set up his phone to record the opening number “A Cautionary Tale” with Janis (Auliʻi Cravalho), his fears of “Cloverfielding” are soon realized. Footage of the phone’s tumbling does seem to be a reference to Paramount’s 2008 found footage film, which just so happened to star Lizzy Caplan, the original Janis.
As fans were keen to point out after seeing Mean Girls’ musical trailer, actor Ashley Park plays a comedic cameo role in the film version. Having been Broadway’s original Gretchen, Park can be spotted as Madame Park, the strict French teacher at North Shore High.
Gretchen Weiner’s Powerful Hair
While extended montages detailing the lore of The Plastics have been ditched, there are still references built into the movie. On top of Bebe Wood’s reinvention of the character landing some extra backstory in songs like “What’s Wrong with Me?,” she’s mentioned to very much be in possession of her secret keeping hair.
Regina George’s Beloved Cheese Fries
A throwaway line for Rachel McAdams’ original version of Regina George, the head Plastic’s favorite snack is presented front and center. As Reneé Rapp introduces herself in “Meet the Plastics,” the first thing we see is her placing down a tray adorned by this cheesy delight.
Fetch Has Happened
Lacey Chabert must be beside herself knowing that “fetch” has officially happened. Not only does the term catch on in Mean Girls 2024, but it’s also cited as “slang from an old movie.” It’s a claim that’s out of line, but it’s correct.
So That’s How You Spell Cool Mom?
Regina’s mother is still that cool mom who’s ready to help her daughter and friends misbehave. Mrs. George (Busy Phillips) nails that fact to the doors with the presence of an Instagram handle that includes six O’s. Which is confusing, because those letters could be spread through both words or focused on just one.
A Sexy Costume From The Past
During “Sexy,” the big number for Karen Shetty (Avantika), a whole bunch of sexy costumes are flashed while she records her pre-party TikTok. One of those iconic looks happens to be a reference to that time Cady Heron cut out the nipples on Regina George’s tank top in the O.G. Mean Girls.
She’s A (Sexy) Mouse
One more perfect easter egg in “Sexy” ends the entire song off with a punchline from the past. Running through looks like “Sexy Corn” and “Sexy Eleanor Roosevelt,” Karen finally lands on her own costume. She’s a “sexy mouse.” Duh.
Damian’s Dramatic Performance
Rather than perform Christina Aguleria’s “Beautiful” for North Shore High School’s Winter Talent Show, Damian’s serenade is another Paramount-branded gag. What initially seems like a soulful French ballad turns out to be a translated version of the iCarly theme song. Is now a good time to mention that Mean Girls‘ remake was originally supposed to be a Paramount+ original?
“Thank U, Next.”
At this point, Damian yelling that phrase feels like a Mean Girls reference that shows the picture is in tune with youth culture. But at the same time, when you consider that this comeback originated in the Ariana Grande song that references this very moment in its own music video, it’s a perfect circle of pop influence.
Heron, It’s Tuesday
Mean Girls is a Tina Fey comedy through and through, and her second draft of history infuses some 30 Rock energy in a neat way. When Cady (Angourie Rice) is asked about her plans for the weekend that becomes her epic party, she remarks that “it’s only Tuesday.” While the NBC sitcom variation on this joke focused on a Wednesday, that day obviously has its own relevance in Girl World.
Trang Pak Still Gets Burned (Book)
While exchange student Trang Pak (Ky Pham) had more of a presence in 2004’s Mean Girls, her infamous subplot was rightfully deleted from the 2024 musical movie. That doesn’t stop her from being called out as “a grostky biotch” in the Burn Book during “World Burn,” so her legacy still lives on.
Ms. Norbury And Principal Duvall Finally Made It Official
In an act that could suggest Mean Girls is an alternate universe version of its former self, we learn that Ms. Norbury (Tina Fey) and Principal Duvall (Tim Meadows) are actually a couple! I’m glad to see fate pushed these crazy kids together for once.
Squills Is The New Fetch
Now that we’re in a world where “fetch” has totally happened, it’s time for a new word to be the butt of this legendary joke. And thanks to North Shore’s Mathletes, “squills” is the next linguistic black sheep that’ll “never happen.” We’ll see about that.
Into The Cady-Verse
As soon as we show up to the Mathletes State Championship (sponsored by Seat Geek), a very familiar face pops up out of nowhere. OG Cady Lindsay Lohan cameos as the host of the epic mathematic showdown, and she gets some pretty funny one-liners with Angourie Rice and her scene partners.
A Moment Of Composer
If you look at the name plates for Mean Girls’ North Shore mathletes, one of Cady Heron’s teammates has the last name “Richmond.” Which doesn’t feel like a random name from a hat, considering composer Jeff Richmond not only helped give the musical its tunes, he’s also writer Tina Fey’s husband.
Backwards Logic, A La Karen Shetty
Though Amanda Seyfried admitted to setbacks after playing the original Karen for Mean Girls, her legacy in the role is still felt tremendously. Avantika certainly shows that off throughout the movie thanks to a nameplate necklace that’s always shown as being worn backwards. Which, as it so happens, calls back to that time 2004’s Karen applied a bejeweled “K” on her own chest, in a similarly unreadable fashion.
An Astronomical Change
When Cady blows off her mother (Jenna Fischer) to throw a rager at home, she turns down a very different engagement. Rather than passing up a Ladysmith Black Mambazo concert, the younger Heron is missing out on a Neil Degrasse Tyson event. It’s ok, Cady, we’ve got you covered with Neil’s rants on famous sci-fi movies, in case you’re quizzed.
We Are All Glen Coco
Have you ever wanted to be part of a “Revenge Party?” Well, Mean Girls 2024 is your chance, as the movie gives the audience Glen Coco’s POV when he receives that candy cane haul. And of course, the cast celebrates with a singing chant of, “You go, Glen Coco!”
Now there might be some bits and pieces we missed here and there, but for what it’s worth, these are the Mean Girls easter eggs we spotted in our viewing of this well-played refresh. But if you want to search for some deep cuts we may have missed, then feel free to rewatch the 2004 original.
There are a couple of ways you can take this nostalgic trip, with one method being the use of a Paramount+ subscription. That then frees you up to check out the 2024 musical, whether it’s the first or fifth time you’ll be doing so. Trust me, you just might want to see this new version again.