Some are smart and conniving, some as dumb as a bag of hammers. Some are literally evil, some just high school evil. Regardless, they all share three things: they’re girls, they’re mean, and they go to high school. Join us as we count down the 27 meanest high school girls in the movies…
- Betty Rizzo – Grease
Ah Grease, with your insidious message that taking up smoking and dressing like a massive-haired figure skater was the way to your true love’s heart, you truly are a classic amongst teen movies.
Even after seven seasons playing the First Lady in The West Wing, Stockard Channing is still best known as spunky Rizzo, the girl with an acid tongue and a quick, if not always intelligible, comeback for everything (“Peachy keen jellybean” being a personal favorite).
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Rizzo hardly made newcomer Sandy feel welcome at Rydell High, mocking her ingénue attitudes and virginity with typical mean girl aplomb. We find out in song form however that the pink lady behind the dark glasses isn’t really bad at heart, hence Rizzo coming in at a not-very-mean number 27 on this list.
Sample line: “I’ve got so many hickies people will think I’m a leper.”
Meanest moment: Parading acne-pitted Scorpion leader Leo around at the school dance under poor stupid Kenickie’s nose. Though, on balance, we suppose there are worse things she could do.
- Madison Morgan – The DUFF
Bella Thorne’s Madison in 2015 high school comedy The DUFF (which stands for ‘designated ugly fat friend’ for anyone wondering) is cut from exactly this cloth. She’s a product of our Kardashian-obsessed times whose sole aim in life is to be the star of her own reality show. In fact, she’s already filming it, or at least her lapdog Caitlyn is (“That was a good take for me, Caitlyn, make sure you get the wide shot”). More victim than real villain, she’s a sadly satirical reflection of a fame-mad age.
- Sharpay Evans – High School Musical
The High School Musical franchise is camp and colorful, but that doesn’t mean it’s void of any conflict. That conflict comes in the form of pink-loving Sharpay Evans, a mean girl who’s as nasty as you can be on the kid-friendly Disney Channel. Its origins as a TV movie also mean that the blonde starlet also has to learn her lesson at the end of each story (as well as join Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens in the final number), but she’s a classic queen bee all the same.
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Sample line: “We need to save our show from people who don’t know the difference between a Tony Award and Tony Hawk.”
- Taffyta Muttonfudge – Wreck-It Ralph
Even if she isn’t technically a high school mean girl, there’s no debating that Taffyta belongs in this company. It’s only because she recognizes the error of her ways at the end of Wreck-It Ralph and apologizes for her behavior that she appears so low on this ranking. If she hadn’t done that, her bullying, disability-phobic mean girl attitude towards Vanellope would have landed her a top ten position.
Sample line: “You will never be a racer, because you’re a glitch, and that’s all you’ll ever be.”
Meanest moment: Unquestionably the horrible moment that she and her cronies destroy Vanellope’s home-made racer and tell her she’s not allowed to race with them on account of her glitchiness.
- Jody Long – Tamara Drewe
Jody and friend Casey are hands-down the best thing about Stephen Frears’ 2010 adaptation comedy of countryside manners Tamara Drewe. The pair spend their days spitting bile in bus shelters, reading trashy mags, and looking down on man, woman and beast with the kind of disdain only high school girls can muster.
Jody (Jessica Barden) is clearly the alpha in the friendship, and it’s her meddling (and Fatal Attraction-style obsession with rock drummer Ben Sergeant) that drives the film’s gentle rom-com plot forward. From her west country twang to her way with words, we’re not afraid to say that Jody Long is one mean girl we love.
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Sample line: “I want to be her, in that dress, with him licking my teapot lids”
Meanest moment: Some light breaking and entering, then sending a – how should we put this – frank email invitation to Tamara’s lusty married admirer and ex-boyfriends which gets the writer some unwanted attention.
- Jordana Bevan – Submarine
A sometime bully who doesn’t mince her words, dresses like the knife-wielding little person in Don’t Look Now, and enjoys singeing other people’s leg hair with a lighter, Submarine’s Jordana Bevan is well deserving of a place on this list.
Of course, even eczematous pyromaniac Jordana is no match for the ego of her boyfriend narrator Oliver Tate, whose self-involvement is practically a pathology. Underneath the red duffle coat, Jordana’s just an ordinary girl with family problems whose boyfriend’s a bit of a wanker.
Sample line: (on seeing Oliver’s seductive lovemaking pose) “Fucking hell, you’re a serial killer”
Meanest moment: She’s pretty badass as a Swansea femme fatale blackmailing Oliver under the bridge, but joyfully bullying Zoe Preece until she leaves school has to top her list.
- Christy Masters – Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion
Who hasn’t always wanted to go back to high school and show the popular girls exactly what you made of your life? That’s the question addressed in Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, as two dippy blondes attend their high school reunions in full business costume, outlandishly claiming to have invented the post-it note. It’s a hilariously bizarre feel-good movie, with a brilliantly devious mean girl at its center. Now pregnant and married to her “sweetheart,” Christy is the poster girl for peaking at 16 and becoming stuck in the past.
- Gibby, Kirsten & Kristen – Never Been Kissed
In seminal ’90s rom-com, Never Been Kissed, Josie ‘Grossie’ Geller (Drew Barrymore) gets to experience high school all over again. The only trouble is that, the first time around, she was ridiculed and outcast, leaving scars well into her adult life. Of course, when she returns on an undercover job, nothing has changed, and she quickly encounters the school’s modern-day queen bees (Jordan Ladd, Jessica Alba, Marley Shelton). Their plan to ruin the prom of nerdy girl Aldys finally causes Josie to reveal herself, and condemn the girls for their behavior.
Sample line (Gibby): “I don’t think you’re supposed to wear white jeans after 1983.”
Meanest moment: The trio’s Carrie-inspired dog food at the prom plan. Just horrible.
- Tris – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
The best boy-meets-girl stories have an awful ex-girlfriend in the mix, and as unsuited girls go, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist hits the nail on the head with mean girl Tris. She’s the girl who’s completely wrong for sweet, sensitive Nick (Michael Cera), throwing away his mix CDs and dumping him on his birthday. It’s a good job he finds Norah (Kat Dennings), who’s having some relationship troubles of her own, but their meeting prompts Tris to see her ex in a whole new light. Thankfully, this girl gets her just desserts, and Nick abandons her mid-seduction attempt.
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Sample line: “Norah (unconvincing concerned face) alone again?”
Meanest moment: Throwing Nick’s painstakingly prepared mix CDs away is probably Tris at her most heartless, though her sexy dance in a riverside car park is her at her most scheming.