Study Guide

Mean Girls Summary

Mean Girls Summary

After being home-schooled by her research zoologist parents in Africa for her entire academic life, Cady Heron moves to Evanston, Illinois and encounters the most dangerous habitat of them all: public high school.

She's quickly befriended by Janis and Damian, two outsiders who give Cady the lowdown on the social order at North Shore High. At the top of the social pyramid are Regina George and her two minions, Gretchen Wieners and Karen Smith, collectively known as "The Plastics."

When Regina spots Cady getting harassed in the cafeteria, she invites Cady to join The Plastics for lunch. Regina interrogates Cady and then The Plastics invite Cady to sit with them regularly, which, to them, is an honor on par with winning the Grammy for Best New Artist.

When Cady tells Janis about The Plastics' offer, Janis tells Cady she has to do it—and report back to her and Damian with all the moronic things the Plastics say. Janis and Regina have beef, but every time Damian tries to explain what it is, Janis cuts him off.

The following day, Cady goes undercover with The Plastics, and they lay down their ground rules for what Cady refers to as "Girl World," like how often they're allowed to wear their hair in a ponytail—you know, really important stuff. After much goading, Cady relents and tells Gretchen that she thinks Aaron Samuels is cute. Turns out that's Regina's ex, and, as Gretchen explains, that means he's off-limits.

After school, Cady and the Plastics end up at Regina's house, where the Plastics show Cady their Burn Book, a homemade book that includes an insulting and/or degrading page dedicated to each girl in their class. Cady's kind of horrified, and reports back to Janis and Damian with news of the Burn Book.

Shortly thereafter, Gretchen tells Regina that Cady likes Aaron. Regina gives Cady her blessing to pursue Aaron. Cady starts talking to Aaron more frequently at school, and he invites her to his buddy's Halloween party. Before Cady arrives at the party, Regina tells Aaron that Cady's basically a crazy stalker, then she comes on to him. They start making out. Cady sees them, leaves the party in tears, and heads directly to Janis and Damian. Together, they hatch a plan to end the reign of Regina.

First, they try various forms of physical sabotage, like replacing Regina's face wash with foot cream, but nothing seems to stick. Next, Cady sends a candy cane-gram to herself from Regina, so that Gretchen will get insecure when she sees that Regina didn't send her one, too. It works. Later, at the Winter Talent Show, Regina repeatedly snipes at Gretchen, and Gretchen cracks. Back at school, Gretchen starts spilling Regina's secrets to Cady, including the fact that she's cheating on Aaron with Shane Oman.

After Christmas Break, Cady, Janis, and Damian do everything they can to help Aaron catch Regina and Shane in the act. Nothing works. Then Cady turns Regina on to Kälteen bars, billing them as a carb-busting weight loss snack, when, really, they help you gain weight.

In the ensuing weeks, Cady starts failing her calculus assignments on purpose so Aaron will tutor her. At their first session, they kiss, and it looks like Cady's plan worked. When Aaron quickly reconsiders out of respect for Regina, Cady blurts out that Regina's cheating on him. Ouch.

As the Spring Fling approaches, Cady, Janis, and Damian continue their revenge plan, their focus now on severing Regina's hold on Gretchen and Karen. Damian stuffs the Spring Fling ballot boxes, so Gretchen gets nominated for Spring Fling Queen. While he's at it, he puts Janis in there, too. Cady and Regina round out the roster of nominees.

After class one day, Ms. Norbury stops Cady to tell her she's officially failing calculus, and encourages her not to dumb herself down for some guy. The Norbury calls herself a pusher. Later that afternoon, cheered on by The Plastics, Cady angrily adds a Ms. Norbury page to the Burn Book, where her being a "pusher" becomes her being a "drug pusher."

Cady calls Regina. Gretchen's secretly on the line, too, and Gretchen hears Regina say that Gretchen's not pretty enough to be Spring Fling Queen, and that it really should be Karen who's nominated, but she's too much of slut. Yeesh. Karen gets patched in, and Gretchen tells her what Regina said about her. The next day in the cafeteria, Gretchen and Karen let Regina have it, and Regina storms off. Gretchen and Karen promptly start following Cady around. She's the new queen bee.

That weekend, with her parents away, Cady throws a "small get-together" that turns into a monster party. Her anxiety goes through the roof, and she starts drinking. By the time Aaron arrives, she's drunk and makes a fool of herself. Regina busts in just in time to see Cady vomit on Aaron. He leaves, and Janis and Damian arrive. Janis had an art show that night that Cady blew off, and Janis is ticked. She tells Cady that she's not pretending to be plastic anymore; she is plastic.

Regina stomps back to her car, trailed by Shane, who tells her what Kälteen bars really are. That's the final straw. Regina goes straight home and adds a new page to the Burn Book, all about herself. The next day at school, Regina shows Mr. Duvall the Burn Book, claiming that Cady, Gretchen, and Karen created it because they're the only girls who aren't it. Then she throws photocopies of the book's pages all over the hallways. As soon as class is dismissed and her classmates see the pages, they go berserk and start fighting each other in the hallways—like legit hand-to-hand combat.

Mr. Duvall orders all the junior girls to the gym, and Ms. Norbury runs an impromptu, mandatory workshop that basically boils down to "How Not to Talk About People Behind Their Backs." Janis tells the entire group about her and Cady's plan to ruin Regina's life, and Regina storms out. Cady follows. In the street in front of the school, Regina lays the verbal smack-down on Cady and promptly gets hit by a bus.

Don't worry; she's okay.

That night, Cady's parents ground her for failing calculus. The next day at school, rumors fly that Cady shoved Regina in front of the bus. When cops show up in calculus to investigate Ms. Norbury's alleged drug dealing, Cady decides to take the blame for the Burn Book. Shortly thereafter, she aces a calculus test, apologizes to Ms. Norbury, and makes up with Aaron.

Ms. Norbury's not done with her yet, though; to make amends, she forces Cady to join the Mathletes. While the Spring Fling kicks off, the Mathletes kick a little numerical butt and win the State Championship. Then they go to the Spring Fling together, with Cady arriving just in time to be crowned Spring Fling Queen.

Cady gives a speech that boils down to "Making fun of other people doesn't make you any smarter, funnier, more attractive, etc." Aaron finds her on the dancefloor afterward and they share a kiss.

A quick look-ahead at senior year shows that everybody's getting along, the cliques have been shattered, and there's finally peace in Girl World.

  • Scene 1

    Scene 1

    • It's Cady's first day of school. Mom and Dad make sure she has her milk money and that she knows her phone number, which would be totally cool if Cady was five and not sixteen.
    • Through voice-over narration, Cady acknowledges that, yeah, her parents are kind of babying her, given that she's a teenager and all, but this is her first time in a real school.
    • Mom and Dad are both research zoologists, so Cady's been home-schooled for her whole life—but she's quick to point out that that doesn't make her a freak or weirdly religious. For the last twelve years, she and her folks were living in Africa. Now, they're back in the States. More specifically, Evanston, Illinois, the town just north of the Chicago city limits.
    • Mom and Dad drop Cady off in front of the school—actually, they're just standing there with her, across the street from her high school; it's kind of weird.
    • They say their goodbyes, and Cady heads onto campus through the crowd of unfamiliar and unfriendly teens. She looks super-nervous, and we don't blame her.
    • Cady walks into her first class of the day, and things don't get any easier. First, she mistakes a tall student for the teacher. Whoops.
    • Then she can't pick a good seat; every time she makes a move toward one, two more classmates dissuade her.
    • One seat belongs to some chick's boyfriend, so it's off-limits. Another is directly behind a sheepish-looking guy who "farts a lot." Welcome to Evanston, Cady!
    • When Cady circles back around to the front of the classroom, she runs right into the teacher, Ms. Norbury, causing Ms. Norbury to spill her coffee all over herself.
    • Just as Ms. Norbury's accidentally pulling off her coffee-coated shirt and tank top off, Mr. Duvall, the principal enters. Yeah, it's awkward. Cady helps Ms. Norbury cover up.
    • Mr. Duvall wants to know how Ms. Norbury's summer went. She got divorced. His carpal tunnel came back. She wins.
    • Mr. Duvall announces that there's a new student who just moved to Evanston from Africa. Ms. Norbury automatically assumes it's an African American student. Turns out she's from Michigan.
    • Then Cady's introduced to the class. Before leaving, Mr. Duvall tells Ms. Norbury that if she needs somebody to talk to, he's there for her. Then he leers at her wet tank top, and it's gross.
    • Through voice-over, Cady tells us that her first day of school was a surreal blur. She's not used to adults not trusting her, and she's not used to having zero friends.
    • When she tries to befriend a table full of African American students in the cafeteria by issuing a cheerful "Jambo!" they're not having it. We don't blame them. Cady eats her lunch in a bathroom stall.
    • Cut to Cady arriving home from school. Mom and Dad are reading on the front porch. Predictably, they ask how her first day went. Cady grimaces and keeps on walking straight into the house.
  • Scene 2

    Scene 2

    • It's Cady's second day at school. She heads into math class and takes a seat next to the guy and girl who told her to avoid Sir Fart-a-lot yesterday. They introduce themselves; they're Damian and Janis.
    • Cady asks for helping finding room G14. Janis says it's in the back building, and they'll take Cady there. There's definitely something shady about the way Janis says it, though.
    • Janis, Damian, and Cady cut across the football field and take a seat in the grass. Cady's confused; Janis explains that the back building burned down in 1987. They're skipping class.
    • Cady worries that they'll get in trouble, but Janis dismisses it. Why would she and Damian try to get her in trouble? They're her friends.
    • Incidentally, skipping class in full view of the school itself seems like a super-dumb idea if you ask us.
    • Cady feels the same way. She tells us in voice-over—we're just going to shorten that to V-O going forward—that she knows it's wrong to skip school, but Janis said they were friends and, well, she needs some friends, bigtime.
    • Guess she'll just never know what she missed on that first day of health class.
    • Cut to health class. Turns out Cady's missing the worst Sex Ed lecture ever.
    • Cut back to "the back building." Janis and Damian want to know why Cady's parents didn't just keep homeschooling her. They wanted her to get socialized, Cady explains. Damian and Janis assure Cady she'll have no trouble getting socialized; she's a "regulation hottie."
    • A gym class trots out onto the soccer field.
    • Again, these three are cutting class in full view of a gym class and its teacher. We don't get it.
    • As students spill out of the school, Damian and Janis point out "The Plastics," a trio of junior girls whom Damian describes as teen royalty. They rule North Shore High.
    • There's Karen, one of the dumbest girls you'll ever meet.
    • There's Gretchen, who's a huge gossip, and whose dad invented toaster strudel.
    • And then there's their leader, the queen bee, Regina George, who, according to Janis, is evil in human form. So yeah, we're guessing they're not friends.
    • Janis gives Cady a map of the cafeteria that breaks down what cliques sit where. Where you sit is crucial.
    • Cut to the cafeteria. Cady's looking for a place to sit when she's harassed by Jason, who pretends he's taking a survey of new students. Regina overhears and tells Jason off. Cady's grateful. Regina invites her to sit down.
    • Regina interrogates Cady, rapid-fire style. How come she's never seen her before? She was home-schooled?
    • It's intense. All that's missing is a lamp shining directly into Cady's face and maybe a two-way mirror.
    • Meanwhile, Karen wants to know why Cady's white if she's from Africa, and Gretchen tries in vain to make the word "fetch" happen. Regina's annoyed.
    • The Plastics talk amongst themselves. Cady looks across the cafeteria at Janis and Damian who mouth, "What in the world are you doing?!"
    • Cady smiles and shrugs. Then Regina invites Cady to eat lunch with them for the rest of the week like it's some huge honor.
    • Cut to Cady, Janis, and Damian in the girl's bathroom. Janis says Cady absolutely has to eat lunch with The Plastics—and report back to her with all the horrible things Regina says. Then she fires off a few more insults at Regina and says that Regina ruined her life.
    • Cady wants to know why Janis hates Regina; she thinks Regina seemed sweet. Uh, okay.
    • Damian starts to explain to Cady that Regina started a rumor about Janis, but Janis cuts him off before her can finish. Ooh, intrigue.
    • It's settled. Cady's going to eat lunch with The Plastics and report back to Janis. Also, she needs to borrow something pink from Damian.
    • Cut to Cady's 8th period calculus class. Through V-O she tells us how relieved she is to be there. Math, she gets. The social hierarchy and rules of North Shore? Not so much.
    • The guy in front of her turns around and asks to borrow a pencil. Cady's eyes practically turn into cartoon hearts.
    • When Ms. Norbury calls on Cady, she answers "So cute" under her breath, but loud enough that everybody turns around. Smooth, Cady. Smooth.
    • Cady returns home. Once again, Mom and Dad are chillin' on the porch. They want to know how Day Two went. This time, Cady actually stops to talk and tells them that she made some friends.
    • Also, don't Mom and Dad ever go to work? These two spend a lot of time on the front porch, sipping from mugs and leafing through books. If that's what being a research zoologist is, sign us up.
  • Scene 3

    Scene 3

    • Cady's having lunch with The Plastics. It must be Wednesday because she's wearing Damian's enormous pink polo shirt.
    • Gretchen lays down some ground rules, like how often you can wear jeans or put your hair in a ponytail. It's bananas.
    • Regina leaves to get some cheese fries and Gretchen asks Cady if she's got her eye on anybody at North Shore. Cady mentions the pencil guy from her calculus class, Aaron Samuels. Gretchen's earrings practically shoot out of her ears. That's Regina's ex-boyfriends, which means he's a no-go.
    • Cut to Cady in her calculus class, staring dreamily at Aaron. When the bell rings, she makes her move to talk to him, but she's intercepted by Kevin Gnapoor, who wants her to join the Mathletes.
    • After school, Cady walks by the soccer field and sees Aaron practicing. She waves, he waves back, and then Regina pulls up in her convertible with Gretchen and Karen. They're going shopping, and she orders Cady to get in. Okay, then.
    • At the mall, Cady tells The Plastics she's thinking about joining Mathletes. They think it's social suicide—and think Cady's lucky to have them to guide her.
    • They pass by the bath and body shop where Janis works and Janis mocks The Plastics without them seeing her. Cady smiles, shrugs, and waves.
    • At the mall fountain, Cady surveys the student population. She tells us via V-O that being at the mall kind of reminds her of being in Africa, by the watering hole, when the animals are in heat. For a moment, all of the high school students start clambering around like monkeys.
    • She's snapped back to reality by Gretchen, who spies Jason talking up some girl named Taylor by the fountain. Apparently, Gretchen and Jason have history. Gretchen's pretty upset to see him flirting with somebody else.
    • Regina calls Taylor's house and gets her mom. She pretends to be Susan from Planned Parenthood, and asks Taylor's mom to have Taylor call her right away about her test results. It's urgent.
    • Dang; that's cold.
    • Cut to Regina, Gretchen, Karen, and Candy rolling into Regina's house. It's a mansion.
    • Cady's introduced to Regina's mom, who is desperate to be "one of the girls."
    • Up in Regina's room, The Plastics crank up the radio and analyze all their "flaws" in the mirror, like weird hairlines and huge pores. Cady can't exactly relate.
    • Mrs. George pops in with a tray of mocktails, and wants to know what the hot gossip is at school. Regina asks her to leave.
    • The Plastics find their old Burn Book, which contains pictures of all the girls in their class, along with a nasty insult about each. Cady seems kind of taken aback.
    • They come across Janis's entry, which had a picture of her and Damian, and the label "Dyke." So maybe that's the rumor Regina started?
    • When Karen asks who that is in the pic with Janis, Cady says it's Damian and repeats a comment Janis made when they first met about Damian being "almost too gay to function."
    • Regina says that's funny and orders them to put it in the book, and Cady immediately regrets it.
    • Cut to the mall. Janis is at work, and Damian's hanging out with her. Cady tells Janis all about the Burn Book.
    • Janis wants to know what it says about her; Cady lies and tells her she's not in it. Janis seems a little offended.
    • Janis tells Cady she has to steal the Burn Book so they can publish it and show everybody how awful Regina really is. Cady's not too keen on stealing.
    • They spot Mrs. Norbury. She comes over to say hey. Turns out she bartends a few nights a week at P.J. Calamity's. That explains the vest full of buttons.
    • Ms. Norbury tells Cady that she hopes she joins Mathletes. It would be good to have a girl on the team. Also, it would be good for the rest of the team to just meet a girl.
    • Damian blurts out that Cady can't; it'll be social suicide. That seems to be a popular opinion.
  • Scene 4

    Scene 4

    • At home, Cady answers the phone. It's Regina. She says she knows Cady's secret. Cady's afraid Regina knows about her undercover work for Janis. Turns out Regina's just talking about Aaron. Gretchen told Regina that Cady's interested in him.
    • Regina says she doesn't care if Cady goes after Aaron. In fact, Regina can talk to him for her if she wants. Cady thinks that's a brilliant idea.
    • Then Regina tries to get Cady to say that she's mad at Gretchen for telling Regina that Cady likes Aaron. Cady doesn't take the bait, at least not entirely.
    • Ultimately, she gives in and says that, yeah, what Gretchen did wasn't cool, but she's not mad at her; Gretchen probably just likes the attention.
    • Surprise—Gretchen's on the line, too. She can't believe Cady said that.
    • The call ends, and Cady's happy that she survived her first "three-way calling attack." These Plastics are cutthroat, y'all.
    • With Regina's blessing, Cady starts talking to Aaron more at school. They have meaningful conversations about what day it is ("It's October 3rd.") and the weather ("It's raining.").
    • The third time they talk, Aaron invites Cady to a Halloween party at his buddy Chris' house. Cady's stoked and blows off a Mathletes meeting to go get started on her costume.
    • Cady and her mom work on her Halloween costume. Cady explains via V-O that, in Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress "like a total slut" and other girls can't say anything about it.
    • We cut to Regina's house. Her mom takes pictures of her dressed like a sexy bunny while her Dad looks like he wants to cry. Gretchen shows up at Karen's house in a leather cat suit, while Karen's dressed like a mouse—which just means she's in lingerie and is wearing mouse ears.
    • Nobody told Cady about "the slut rule," she explains, and she shows up at the party in a bloody wedding dress with gnarly fake teeth and a long black wig. Everybody thinks she's hideous, terrifying, or both.
    • Aaron finds her and guesses that she's a zombie bride. She's an "ex-wife." Get it?
    • Aaron heads off to get Cady a drink and runs into Regina. She tells him that Cady has a huge crush on him, and then makes up a story about how Cady practices writing her name as "Mrs. Aaron Samuels" all over her notebooks.
    • Then Regina goes even further and claims that Cady saved a Kleenex Aaron used so she can do some "African voodoo" on it to make him like her.
    • Cady waves at Aaron and Regina from across the room, assuming that this is Regina putting in a good word for her.
    • Regina kisses Aaron, and Cady bolts.
    • Aaron pushes Regina off of him, reminding her that she broke up with him. She says she could never have done that; he's too hot. Then they start making out.
    • Cady runs out of the party, and tells us through V-O that she was wrong about Regina. She's not sweet; she's the worst.
    • Janis and Damian are watching a scary movie when Cady busts in, still in her "ex-wife" garb and scares the heck out of them.
    • Tearfully, she tells them that Regina took Aaron back. Janis says it's because Regina's a life-ruiner.
    • Damian starts to say that, when they were thirteen, Regina made everybody sign a petition saying that Janis was…well, something…but Janis cuts him off. She has a plan to get back at Regina.
    • Janis outlines her plan. Regina's an evil dictator. If they want to take her down, they need to cut off her resources: Aaron, her good looks, and Gretchen and Karen.
    • Cady needs to act like everything's cool and hold her position on the inside. Cady says she's up to the challenge. Game on.
  • Scene 5

    Scene 5

    • Back at school, Cady explains via V-O that pretending like everything was cool between her and Regina was surprisingly easy.
    • Things get a wee bit thornier at lunch since Aaron's now sitting with Regina since they're back together.
    • Regina rubs the fact that he's with her in Cady's face by telling Aaron that his hair looks sexy pushed back and then forcing Cady to say it, too. This girl has ice in her veins.
    • Meanwhile, Cady looks for opportunities to sabotage Regina. First, she and Janis replace Regina's face wash with peppermint foot cream in an attempt to make her break out. Instead, it just makes Aaron want to make out with Regina, right in front of Cady, because he thinks Regina's face smells good.
    • Next, Janis cuts holes in the chest of Regina's tank top while she's in gym class. Regina puts it back on, and is totally unfazed; by the end of the day, all the girls in the junior class are walking around with holes in their shirts.
    • Janis is bummed. They've been trying to sabotage Regina for a month, and all they've managed to do is make her face smell like a foot. What they need to do is break Gretchen. If they can get her to crack, she's such a gossip that she'll spill all of Regina's dirty secrets.
    • Janis tells Cady and Damian they have to meet tonight to work out their new plan. Cady can't; she and The Plastics are rehearsing their number for the winter talent show. Every year, they do "Jingle Bell Rock."
    • Regina approaches, so Cady tells Janis and Damian to split.
    • Regina wants to know why Cady was talking to Janis. Cady makes something up, and Regina launches into her history with Janis. It boils down to this: they were BFFs in eighth grade, but then Regina thought Janis was obsessed with her and therefore a lesbian, so Regina didn't invite her to her birthday party.
    • Janis' mom called Mrs. George to complain. Then Janis dropped out of school, and when she came back for high school, she'd cut off all her hair and was weird.
    • Okay, then.
    • Cady changes the subject and wants to know if Regina's going to send anybody any candy cane-grams. She's not: she doesn't send them, she just gets them, so Cady better her send her one. Yes, your highness.
    • Via V-O, Cady tells us that she's got other plans in mind. She's going to use three candy canes to crack Gretchen.
    • Cut to English class. Damian shows up dressed as Santa, delivering candy cane-grams. Cady gets one from Regina (that she really sent herself); Gretchen doesn't get one and assumes Regina's mad at her. Hold onto your butts; the plan is officially in motion.
  • Scene 6

    Scene 6

    • Mr. Duvall welcomes everybody to the Winter Talent Show. First up, it's Damian, who sings Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful."
    • He's literally a hit—as in, he gets hit when somebody in the audience chucks a shoe at him.
    • Next, Kevin—you know, from Mathletes—and his friends perform a raunchy rap that gets cut off early by Mr. Duvall.
    • Backstage, Cady, Gretchen, and Karen are getting ready to perform. Gretchen speculates about why Regina sent Cady and Karen candy canes, but not her.
    • Maybe she's acting weird because her parents don't sleep in the same bed anymore. Oops; forget she said that.
    • Maybe Regina's being weird around her because she's the only one who knows about Regina's nose job. Whoops! The secrets just keep pouring out.
    • Just before Cady and The Plastics—er, we mean "Santa's Helpers"—take the stage for their big number, Regina asks Gretchen to switch places with Cady, so Cady's next to Regina instead of Gretchen.
    • Gretchen protests; she's always next to Regina. Plus, the dance will be backwards. Regina insists that she move over. Now.
    • Their dance to "Jingle Bell Rock" is—uh, let's just say we've never seen any elves dance like that.
    • Partway through the routine, Gretchen messes up the choreography and sends the boom box playing their backing track into the audience, right into Jason's face.
    • Cady starts to sing "Jingle Bell Rock" acapella. Aaron starts singing, too; then more of the audience joins in.
    • Ms. Norbury jumps behind the piano, and Santa's Helpers finish the number. Jingle bell crisis averted.
    • Backstage, everybody's happy. Karen thinks it's the best the number has ever gone.
    • Aaron comes backstage to celebrate. Kevin compliments Cady, and Gretchen jumps right into "Oooh, Cady! You have a crush on Kevin!" mode.
    • When Gretchen says that it's "so fetch" that Kevin complimented Cady, Regina pounces, and orders her to stop trying to make "fetch" happen.
    • Gretchen's silent and clearly hurt.
    • Cut to History class. Gretchen gives an impassioned (read: hysterical) reading from her essay about why the Romans should totally stab Caesar.
    • "When did it become okay for one person to be the boss of everybody?" she asks.
    • Brutus is just as cute as Caesar. Brutus is just as smart as Caesar. People totally like Brutus just as much as they like Caesar.
    • We're pretty sure she's not really talking about Caesar here.
    • Gretchen officially loses it. In the girls' bathroom with Cady, she spills more of her resentments toward Regina and more of Regina's secrets—most notably that Regina's cheating on Aaron.
    • Every Thursday, she says she's doing SAT prep, but, really, she's hooking up with Shane Oman in the projection room above the auditorium.
    • Consider Gretchen Wieners cracked
  • Scene 7

    Scene 7

    • After Christmas Break, Cady, Janis, and Damian do everything they can to help Aaron catch Regina and Shane together, like convincing Aaron that swim team practice will be held in the projection room about the auditorium.
    • They don't manage to bust Regina with Shane, but they do catch Coach Carr making out with Trang Pak. Yikes.
    • Cady, Janis, and Damian give up on that plan and switch to a new one. They convince Regina that Kälteen bars, a Swedish nutrition bar that Cady's mom used to give to kids in Africa to help them gain weight, is actually some sort of magic weight loss snack that burns carbs. Regina's all in.
    • While we see Cady and The Plastics primp, Cady explains Regina's weird gravitational pull to us via V-O. It's weird: as much as she thinks Regina is awful, she still wants Regina to like her. Being part of The Plastics is like being a celebrity.
    • Then we get a montage of several students (and Mr. Duvall) talking to the camera about The Plastics like they're famous: who they're dating, what they're wearing, etc.
    • Cady uses Gretchen as an example, too. Regina may treat Gretchen like garbage, but Gretchen would rather be in The Plastics, being treated badly, than be on the outside.
    • Cady also tells us that she's finding every excuse that she can to talk to Aaron.
    • She asks him for help in calculus, but it's obvious that she doesn't need any help since she's acing assignments left and right.
    • Then she starts tanking her assignments on purpose and tells Aaron she needs a tutor. He offers to help her after school, and they agree that they probably shouldn't tell Regina about it. Good call.
    • Cut to tutoring. Aaron and Cady go over a problem together. Then they kiss. Ah, calculus: the most romantic of all the maths.
    • Aaron pulls away from Cady. He can't do this; it wouldn't be fair to Regina. Cady can't hold it in anymore: she tells Aaron that Regina's cheating on him.
    • Cut to Cady, Gretchen, and Karen consoling Regina. Aaron broke up with her. Apparently, some guy on the baseball team told him about Shane Oman. Cady and Gretchen exchange nervous looks.
    • Karen suggests doing something fun: going to Taco Bell. Regina calls her stupid (after all, Regina's on an all-carb diet) and runs out of the room, Gretchen trailing her and begging her to talk to her.
    • Cady tells Karen she's not stupid. Karen assures her that, yes, she is.
    • She's failing all her classes. Also, she's kind of psychic. Her breasts can tell when it's raining.
  • Scene 8

    Scene 8

    • Back at school, Cady updates us on the plan to takedown Regina via V-O: Now that Aaron's out of the picture and Regina's unknowingly eating 5,000 calories a day thanks to all those Kälteen bars, all that's left to do is cut her off from Gretchen and Karen.
    • We get a quick shot of Damian stuffing the Spring Fling King and Queen ballot box with Gretchen votes, and then cut to the morning video announcements.
    • The Spring Fling votes are in, and the nominees for Queen are Regina, Gretchen, Janis, and Cady.
    • While Damian was putting Gretchen's name in there, he put in Janis's, too. He didn't put in Cady's, though. She's legit honored to be nominated, and Damian and Janis poke fun at her.
    • At a shop called 1-3-5, Regina tries on the Spring Fling dress she put on hold back in January and it no longer fits. She's mortified.
    • Cut to Cady in calculus class. She's just about to tap Aaron on the shoulder when the bell rings. Class dismissed.
    • Ms. Norbury stops Cady on the way out. Cady's failing, and her parents need to sign her test. The weird thing, as Ms. Norbury points out, is that all of the work on Cady's tests is right; it's just the answers that are wrong.
    • Ms. Norbury tells Cady that she shouldn't dumb herself down for some guy.
    • Ms. Norbury keeps going, rambling on about her divorce and the fact that she's a pusher.
    • She pushed her ex-husband into law school, for example, and she's going to push Cady to do better because she knows she's smarter than that.
    • After school at Regina's house, Cady sounds off, saying that she hates Ms. Norbury, and that Ms. Norbury's only failing her because she didn't join Mathletes..
    • Cady and The Plastics also wildly speculate that when Ms. Norbury told Cady she was a pusher, she meant she sold drugs. Yeah, okay.
    • Gretchen tells Cady to let it all out—into the Burn Book.
  • Scene 9

    Scene 9

    • Back at school, Cady tells Damian and Janis she has major Plastics sabotage planned for tonight. She planned this one on her own.
    • Have we mentioned that Cady's constantly decked out in pink, short skirts, and big hair, and she's always checking her makeup? Because she is.
    • Cut to Cady on the phone with Regina. Regina's stuffing her face with donuts and bagging on Gretchen.
    • She wonders if Gretchen got nominated for Spring Fling Queen as a joke, says she's afraid Gretchen will have a meltdown when she loses, and says that Gretchen's not pretty. Oh, and also, it should be Karen who's nominated for Spring Fling Queen, but everybody forgets about her because she's such a slut.
    • Once Regina hangs up, we see, predictably, that Gretchen was on the line, too, and heard the whole thing. She asks Cady to hold for a sec and calls Karen. Now we have all three on screen.
    • Meanwhile, Regina calls Karen. Make that all four girls on screen.
    • Regina wants to go out, but tells Karen not to tell Gretchen. Karen tells Gretchen what Regina said, and Gretchen tells Karen that Regina called her a slut.
    • Back on the line with Regina, Karen gives the fakest fake cough in the history of fake coughs and tells Regina that she can't go out because she's sick.
    • "Boo, you whore," Regina says.
    • Poor choice of words, Regina. Karen's outraged.
  • Scene 10

    Scene 10

    • Gretchen and Karen confront Regina at lunch. She's wearing sweatpants. On a Monday.
    • That means Regina can't sit with them, per the ridiculous rules they have about what to wear and when.
    • Regina doesn't take Gretchen and Karen seriously and says those rules aren't real. Karen and Gretchen lose their cool. The rules were real that time Karen wore a vest, for example.
    • Regina explains that sweatpants are all that fits her right now. Karen, Gretchen, and Cady sit in silence.
    • Regina leaves in the table in a huff. She bumps into Emma, who calls her a fat-ass. Ouch.
    • Gretchen and Karen start following Cady around like a pair of puppies, and Cady wonders if she's the new Queen Bee.
    • They want to know what they're doing that weekend, and when Cady says she has to go to Madison with her parents, the fact that nobody's telling them where to be and when simply does not compute for Gretchen and Karen.
    • Cady assures them that she'll try to get out of her plans with her parents, and they breathe a sigh of relief.
    • Cut to Cady and her parents having dinner. Cady lies and says she wants to stay behind to see Janis's art show. Ultimately, her parents decide to let Cady stay home alone for the night.
    • Cut to calculus class. Cady tells Aaron that she's having a small get-together at her house tomorrow night and he's invited.
    • She's super-Regina-y about it, calling him "biotch," and telling him to shut up, etc. It's safe to assume she thinks it's cute. It's not.
    • Cady assures Aaron that Regina won't be there, and he says he'll come.
    • The following evening, Cady's parents leave…and Gretchen and Karen pull up right behind them.
    • Cady's excited that Aaron's coming over. She got cheese and crackers for eight people, and she hopes that'll be enough.
    • It's not enough. Cady's "small get-together" is a full-blown house party à la every house party you've ever seen in a teen movie.
    • Lots of people. Lots of red Solo cups. Lots of loud music.
    • Cady's anxiety is off the charts, and she starts pounding shots. Not a good idea.
    • Regina and Shane are on the way to the party, and Regina's incensed. How dare Cady not invite her? She invented her!
    • Meanwhile, Aaron arrives, but Cady misses him. She wonders if Aaron's blowing her off—and keeps pounding the booze.
    • Regina and Shane show up.
    • Aaron wanders into Cady's bedroom. He sees a photo of her and The Plastics and grimaces.
    • He sees a photo of Little Cady on an elephant and smiles. Just then, Cady stumbles out of the bathroom. She's sauced.
    • Aaron thanks Cady for getting him to come out; he's wasted too much time being ticked at Regina for being such a liar.
    • Cady assures him that she'd never lie to him…well, except for this one thing. She's actually good at math.
    • She was pretending to be bad at it so she could talk to him, and now she's failing.
    • Aaron tells her that's stupid; if she wanted to talk to him, she should've just talked to him. Cady says she couldn't because he was, like, Regina's property. Predictably, Aaron's offended.
    • Cady stumbles to clear up the misunderstanding, telling Aaron to shut up, but she just makes it way worse.
    • Aaron tells her that she's just a clone of Regina. Yup; he's kind of right. Then, just as Regina busts in, Cady pukes on Aaron.
    • Cut to Cady chasing Aaron out into the street, begging him to stay. He keeps right on moving.
    • Janis and Damian pull up. This night just keeps getting better and better for our girl Cady.
    • Janis stands up, through the sunroof, and lays into Cady while Damian keeps reminding her that they having to go because he has a curfew.
    • Janis is kind of mad that Cady had a party and didn't invite them, but she's really mad that Cady blew off her art show to have a party and not invite them.
    • Janis and Cady have a huge fight. Cady says she couldn't tell Janis about the shindig because she had to pretend to be Plastic.
    • Janis tells Cady she isn't pretending anymore. She is Plastic.
    • Then Janis mocks Cady and her "awesome" party. Cady fires back: it's not her fault that Janis is, like, in love with her.
    • That's the thing, Janis says. All the Plastics think everybody's in love with them when, really, everybody hates them. Including Aaron.
    • Janis then asks Cady why Cady's still messing with Regina, even though their mission is over, and Aaron still isn't into her.
    • Janis answers her own question: It's because Cady's a mean girl.
    • Then Janis chucks her painting at Cady's feet and tells her she can keep it; it won a prize. And with that, Damian and Janis ride off.
    • Cady checks out the painting: it's of her, Janis, and Damian. Cady tears up.
    • Regina stomps back to her car, munching on a Kälteen bar, followed by Shane. He's surprised by her snack choice: Coach Carr makes he and the other wrestlers eat those when they want to move up a weight class.
    • They make you pack on the pounds like crazy, he says.
    • Regina screams, and screams, and screams, and eventually Shane just backs away and leaves altogether.
    • Regina continues screaming all the way home and into her bedroom where she pulls out the Burn Book and creates a cruel page all about… herself.
    • Wait, what now?
  • Scene 11

    Scene 11

    • Regina's in Mr. Duvall's office. She's in tears, and she's given him the Burn Book. She claims she found it in the girl's bathroom.
    • Mr. Duvall flips through the pages; he's horrified and assures Regina that they'll find out who made it. She's quick to point out that there are only three girls in the entire school who aren't in it.
    • Ah, we see what she's up to.
    • Cut to Cady's gym class; Coach Carr gets a note that says Cady's wanted in the principal's office. Uh oh.
    • On her way into Mr. Duvall's office, Cady passes Regina, who gives her the side-iest side eye.
    • Gretchen and Karen are already in the office. Mr. Duvall wants to know what they know about the Burn Book.
    • They tell him yes, they've seen it before, but Regina wrote it. She's totally framing them.
    • Mr. Duvall isn't buying it. Why would she put herself in the book?
    • Out in empty school hallway, Regina tosses copies of the Burn Book's pages everywhere.
    • Back in Mr. Duvall's office, Gretchen speculates that maybe she isn't in the book because everybody likes her. T
    • hen she not-so-subtly threatens Mr. Duvall by mentioning that her rich dad—you know, the inventor of toaster strudel—won't be happy to hear about this.
    • The bell rings, and the hall fills with students who immediately start perusing the pages of the Burn Book.
    • The girls who are being, well, burned, aren't happy about it, and they start fighting—as in physically fighting.
    • It's total chaos. Regina just stands there and admires her work.
    • Ms. Norbury finds the page that calls her a sad, old drug pusher. She looks bummed.
    • Janis finds her page, which calls her a lesbian, and doesn't care; too unoriginal.
    • Damian finds the page about him being "too gay to function," and now he and Janis are ticked, too.
    • Joan the secretary runs into Mr. Duvall's office and tells him the girls have gone wild.
    • He grabs a baseball bat and pulls the fire alarm, which sets off the sprinklers.
    • The fighting stops, presumably because everybody's hair is getting ruined, and he orders all junior class girls into the gym, immediately.
  • Scene 12

    Scene 12

    • The junior girls (and Damian, decked out in a hoodie and shades like the Unabomber) file into the gym and sit in the bleachers.
    • Cady waves at Janis. Janis makes a hand gesture that can mean a lot of things, but none of them are "Hey, girl!"
    • Mr. Duvall rips in to the junior girls. In all of his fourteen years as an educator, he's never seen anything this bad.
    • He'd cancel their Spring Fling, but they've already paid the DJ. Instead, they're all going to get an attitude makeover.
    • He tries to lead the discussion, but as soon as Bethany mentions her menstrual cycle, he hands the reins over to Ms. Norbury.
    • Ms. Norbury asks everybody to close their eyes.
    • Then she asks everybody that's ever had somebody say something nasty about them raise their hand. Then she has everybody open their eyes and see that they're all raising their hands.
    • Next, she has everybody close their eyes and raise their hand if they've ever said something mean about a friend.
    • When the girls open their eyes, once again, they see that everybody has their hand raised. Cue the murmuring.
    • Ms. Norbury tells the junior girls that they're going to do some exercises together to help them express their anger in a healthy way, and put an end to this girl-on-girl crime.
    • Then we see various cliques, like the softball team, work through their problems directly.
    • Regina pipes up, saying that some people (meaning her) shouldn't have to sit through this workshop since they're just victims in this situation.
    • Ms. Norbury asks everyone who's ever been personally victimized by Regina to raise their hand.
    • Everyone raises their hand, including Mr. Duvall and the other faculty members.
    • Ms. Norbury zeroes in on Cady and asks her if she has any apologies that she wants to dish out.
    • In her head, Cady says of course she does: She wants to apologize to Ms. Norbury for starting the rumor that she sells drugs. Out loud, though, she says "No."
    • Through V-O, Cady explains that she couldn't apologize for the Norbury rumor without taking the blame for the whole Burn Book. She's probably right.
    • Next, Ms. Norbury has everybody write apologies to the people that they've hurt, read them out loud to the whole group, and then take a trust fall into that group, mosh pit style.
    • Karen apologizes to Gretchen for that time she told everybody about how she got diarrhea at Barnes & Noble. Then she apologizes for repeating it now.
    • Gretchen apologizes for being so popular. Nobody tries to catch her.
    • Then Janis storms the stage. She issues a lengthy sarcastic apology to Regina, during which she divulges her and Cady's entire plan to ruin Regina's life.
    • Regina and Cady lock eyes from across the gym. Cady looks like she's about to cry. Regina looks like she's about to tear lockers off the wall barehanded, then she leaves.
    • Cady follows Regina out of the school building, trying to apologize. The rest of the junior girls start spilling out onto the lawn, too.
    • Regina lays into Cady, claiming that everybody hates Cady, and they think she's just a less-hot version of Regina. Then Regina gets hit by a bus.
    • No, really. She gets hit by a bus.
    • Cady tells us that Regina didn't kick the bucket; she just got hurt. Some people said they saw her head go all the way around, Exorcist-style.
    • Some people said they saw Cady push her. (She didn't.)
  • Scene 13

    Scene 13

    • That night, Cady has a tense dinner with her parents. Her mom doesn't totally believe that Cady didn't push Regina.
    • Then she finds a couple of her tribal vases under the sink—ones that Cady hid there during the party she had while her parents were in Madison. Whoops.
    • Cady's mom feels like she doesn't know who Cady is anymore. She leaves the room in a huff.
    • Cady and her dad talk. He suggests being home-schooled again for a while; maybe they put her in mainstream school to soon. Cady disagrees; she has to go back to school. It's going to be terrible, but she has to go back.
    • Then she remembers that she needs her dad to sign her calculus test because she's failing. He grounds her—once he finally remembers what the mainstream world calls grounding.
  • Scene 14

    Scene 14

    • The next day at school, Cady's persona non-grata.
    • In class, Janis and Damian give her the silent treatment, and she has to sit behind the Sir Farts-a-Lot.
    • The lunch room's just as hostile. Students murmur about Cady pushing Regina in front of the bus, and Cady ends up dining in a bathroom stall, just like she did at the beginning of the year.
    • Later, in calculus, the cops are there investigating the allegations about Ms. Norbury. Whoa.
    • Cady decides she can't let Ms. Norbury take any heat; even if Aaron hates her forever, she has to do the right thing.
    • Cady tells Mr. Duvall she wrote the Burn Book and leaves class with him while Aaron looks on, shocked.
    • Cady explains via V-O that it's time to make amends. First, she brings flowers to Regina—who is surrounded by flowers.
    • Next, she apologizes to Ms. Norbury. Norbury forgives her, but says she's figured out how Cady's going to get that extra credit. We're pretty sure it isn't through interpretive dance.
    • Aaron eavesdrops on Cady and Ms. Norbury's conversation, hearing that Cady didn't rat out anybody else behind the Burn Book.
    • Aaron says that getting hit by a bus was probably punishment enough, and tells Cady "Welcome back."
  • Scene 15

    Scene 15

    • Montage! The Plastics are in their formal wear, which can only mean one thing: it's time for the Spring Fling.
    • Regina's neck brace is decorated with flowers. Janice and Damian wear matching purple tuxedos, and Cady's decked out in…her Mathletes shirt.
    • Guess we know what Norbury's punishment was.
    • Cady, Kevin, and the rest of the North Short Mathletes roll into the Illinois High School Mathletes State Championship competition. Ms. Norbury gives them a few words of encouragement, and then it's math time. The numbers start flying; Cady feels rusty.
    • Cut to Cady's house. Cady's mom is surprised to find that Cady went out, what with her being grounded and all.
    • "Are they not allowed out when they're grounded?" Cady's dad asks.
    • Cut to the Spring Fling. Students cast their votes for Spring Fling King and Queen. Regina poses for photos. Cady's parents are there, too, looking for Cady.
    • Back at the Mathlete Championship, things are all tied up. It's time for Sudden Death. Each team gets to pick their opponent, and each team picks the other team's lone girl. Classy, guys. Real classy.
    • Cady's opponent, Caroline Krafft, is, well, she's not conventional attractive.
    • In her mind, Cady runs through Caroline's flaws, like her bushy eyebrows.
    • Then she realizes that making fun of Caroline isn't going to stop Caroline from wiping the floor with her in this competition.
    • "Calling somebody else fat won't make you any skinnier," Cady explains via V-O. "Calling someone stupid doesn't make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George's life definitely didn't make me any happier."
    • Ladies and gents, we have an epiphany!
    • While Cady's having her breakthrough, Caroline buzzes in and answers the tiebreaker question first. Turns out she's wrong. Cady answers the question correctly, and North Shore are the state champs.
    • The Mathletes celebrate and Ms. Norbury convinces Cady to go to the Spring Fling with them, even though she's supposed to be grounded.
    • They arrive just in time to see the Spring Fling King and Queen announced.
    • The king of Spring Fling is… Shane Oman. He celebrates in classic meathead fashion. Cady's parents spot her from across the gym, and her mom gives her the universal hand motion for "You get your butt over here right now, young lady!"
    • Then Mr. Duvall announces the Spring Fling Queen: Cady Heron. She's shocked.
    • So are her parents, for that matter. Her dad's probably never heard of spring, flings, or queens before.
    • Cady goes up on stage and makes a speech, even though Mr. Duvall keeps reminding her that it's not necessary that she make a speech.
    • She apologizes for the Burn Book and says that everybody deserves to be Spring Fling Queen.
    • Then she breaks her plastic Spring Fling Queen tiara into pieces and tosses them to the other nominees, as well as some of the other junior girls. Oh, and Damian.
    • Cut to the dance floor. Cady makes up with Janis and Ian.
    • Aaron approaches. He congratulates her on her State championship. After he sarcastically makes sure that she's not going to drunkenly barf on him again, they kiss.
    • Panning across the dance, we see Shane awkwardly try to kiss Regina around her massive back brace. Mr. Duvall and Ms. Norbury dance together.
    • Damian and Janis are slow dancing together, too. He slowly leans in and kisses her, and they're both immediately repulsed.
    • Damian bolts, and Kevin zooms in to take his place and dance with Janis. Interesting.
    • We zoom out from the crowded dance floor and Cady delivers one last V-O.
    • It's senior year. Regina's joined the lacrosse team; it's a perfect fit for channeling her rage, and none of the jock girls are afraid of her.
    • Karen's using her "fifth sense" to do morning weather announcements.
    • Gretchen's hanging out with the "cool Asians." She has a new queen bee to serve, and speaks fluent (?) Vietnamese.
    • Aaron's going to college at Northwestern, which is also in Evanston, so Cady still gets to see him on weekends.
    • As for Cady, in her own words, she's "gone from home-schooled jungle freak to shiny Plastic to most hated person in the world to actual human being."
    • Cady walks out onto the front lawn of the school and joins her friends.
    • Janis is cozied up with Kevin. Damian's there, too. Karen's braiding Jessica Lopez's hair. Regina walks by with some of her teammates and nods at Cady.
    • Cady explains that there's no more drama, and life is good. Damian points out a trio of "junior Plastics" to her, and they watch a squad of freshman mini-Reginas strut down the front walk toward the street.
    • Cady says that if anybody breaks this newfound peace in Girl World—like those junior Plastics, for example—she's knows what to do with them, and we see the junior Plastics get hit by a bus.
    • Just kidding. The moment restarts, and we see the junior Plastics stop just short of becoming street pizza.
    • Then we end on a freeze frame of Cady, no longer Plastic, now just a happy high school senior.