Study Guide

Sixteen Candles Caroline Mulford (Haviland Morris)

Caroline Mulford (Haviland Morris)

Less than Perfect

Jake's gorgeous girlfriend Caroline makes all the other girls jealous. If this movie were made twenty years later, someone would comment that her milkshake brings all the boys to the yard. She has a bodacious bod, loads of popularity, and a hot boyfriend.

But considering the way Jake treats her later, her relationship with him is not something to be jealous of.

Before we pile on Jake (again) let's look at Caroline's flaws. And yes, despite the perfect body we see in her her gratuitous nude scene (actress Haviland Morris had a body double) she has flaws.

The biggest flaw is that Caroline likes to party. That wouldn't be a problem, except that she doesn't do it at her own house. There's also the matter of the National Minimum Age Drinking Act of 1984 which raised the minimum drinking age to 21. Depending on when John Hughes wrote this, Caroline's behavior may have actually been legal at the time.

But Jake isn't concerned with legality. Whatever the drinking age, Jake would be doing keg stands right alongside Caroline if they were on good terms. His problem is that she's trashing his parents' house and leaving him with the mess.

Sure, Jake probably has enough money to call in Merry Maids for an emergency cleaning service, but her behavior is rude:

JAKE: She's totally insensitive. Look what she did to my house. She doesn't know s*** about love. The only thing she cares about is partying. I want a serious girlfriend. Somebody I can love that's gonna love me back.

Jake's right to be annoyed at Caroline for trashing his house, but a man who reads someone else's note and never tells her shouldn't accuse someone else of being insensitive. And, unlike Jake, who never tells Sam he read her secret note, Caroline apologizes to Jake:

CAROLINE: I'm really sorry about last night. The party…lots of things.

In a movie with a character named Long Duk Dong, this is one of the most mature things anyone does in the film.

As for her other flaws…um, that's about it, actually. We should have said "flaw." Caroline is someone we should be jealous of, because she is almost perfect.

Sorry But Your Princess is Passed-Out Drunk in Another Castle

Caroline is part of the movie's creepiest scene, when Jake, her boyfriend, trades her to the Geek for a pair of Sam's underwear. Here's the dialogue:

JAKE: You let me keep these, I'll let you take Caroline home. But you've got to make sure she gets home. You can't leave her in a parking lot somewhere.

GEEK: Jake, I'm only a Freshman.

JAKE: So, she's so blitzed she won't know the difference.

Real classy guys. It gets worse when Caroline briefly wakes up from her blackout:

CAROLINE: (to Jake) Who's he?

JAKE: That's me.

CAROLINE: Who're you?

JAKE: I'm him.

CAROLINE: Oh. Okay.

The Geek drives Caroline home, but not without stopping to take pictures of himself with her and to have sex with her while she's blacked out. Making this even worse, the Geek says he enjoyed it ("Of course I enjoyed it.") and asks if she did, too.

CAROLINE: You know, I have this weird feeling I did.

You saw that right: the Geek had sex with Caroline while she was blacked out, but she thinks she probably enjoyed it, so it's A-OK. In 1984, this is what passes as a happy ending. Today we call this date rape. (Source)

As creepy as the way Caroline ends up with the Geek is, we think these two are actually good for each other. Well, they would if he wasn't the type to take advantage of unconscious women.

But that aside (and that's a big but), these two are the most mature people in the movie. As we showed, Caroline apologizes to Jake for what she did the wrong. And we've already seen the Geek do the honorable thing and play matchmaker for Sam and Jake.

But a word for Jake: next time you want to reward someone, try a gift card to Olive Garden. Not a person.

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