Mean Girls Movie Poster Image

Mean Girls



Mature but often-hilarious teen comedy.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Themes include integrity and empathy. Ultimately the message is that popularity isn't everything and that girls need to support each other, not tear each other down.

Positive role models

The mean girls do get pretty mean -- but they also learn their lesson. Diverse characters.


Comic violence, including injuries.


Crude humor and sexual references.


Language includes "ass," "crap," "hell," "oh my God," "boob," "damn," "son of a bitch," and implied use of "f--k" ("f-ing," "mother--").

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Underage drinking (with vomiting as a consequence).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know Mean Girls has some mature material for a PG-13, including crude humor, sexual references, underage drinking, and comic violence. There is a prank involving a pregnancy test. Cady allows her home to be taken over by partying teens, gets drunk, and throws up. A child watches "Girls Gone Wild" and imitates it. A girl refers to herself as "half a virgin" and there is a joke about girl-girl kissing. A strength of the movie is its positive portrayal of diverse characters, including disabled, gay, and minority students.

What's the story?

MEAN GIRLS is about a girl who takes on a ruling clique. It's based on Queen Bees and Wannabes, a non-fiction book by Rosalind Wiseman about alpha girls and the impact they have on everyone else, adapted by Saturday Night Live head writer (and Weekend Update anchor) Tina Fey. Previously homeschooled by her zoologist parents while living in Africa, Cady (Lindsay Lohan) moves to Evanston, Illinois and attends high school. Cady finds herself having a hard time understanding the social norms in the school, and is drawn to the "the Plastics," the most popular clique in the school.

Is it any good?


There is much that is fresh and sharp in this movie. But Mean Girls has an uncertain hold on its plot and ends up pulling some of its punches and throwing in teen comedy clichés we have seen endlessly in dozens of movies that all blur together.

Screenwriter Tina Fey, who appears as a sympathetic teacher, has a good sense of how girls like Regina operate to establish their domination, appearing to be sweet and supportive but in reality being competitive, duplicitous and manipulative, and always surrounding themselves with people who will add to their power and not challenge them. And Fey's superb sense of comedy gives the script has some biting humor. Her Saturday Night Live colleagues lend support to the cast, with Tim Meadows as the school principal, Ana Gasteyer as Cady's mother, and Amy Poehler superb as Regina's mother, who insists, "I'm not like a regular mom; I'm a cool mom!"

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the elements that determine status for teenagers -- like those Cady must learn to navigate in Mean Girls -- are different from those that determine status in the adult world, at work, and with friends and family.

  • Use this movie to begin a discussion about the way that the girls they know treat each other, and what they can do to encourage them to be kinder and more supportive.

  • Ask kids if they know any "mean girls." How do they deal with them?

  • How do the characters in Mean Girls demonstrate integrity and empathy? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 30, 2004
DVD/Streaming release date:September 21, 2004
Cast:Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey
Director:Mark Waters
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Character strengths:Empathy, Integrity
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:Sexual content, language and some teen partying

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bygabilovesyouhh February 7, 2010
i lvoe this movie, but it would be awkward to watch it with family.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written bypopstar1049 May 15, 2010
I LOVE THIS MOVIE! it's one that will really make you laugh! There's a few iffy stuff in it, I would say it's good for pre-teens and teens. It sends out a mesage saying popularity is not everything and how gossiping hurts. I would rate it 5 stars! :-)
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written bySpeedy1108 December 14, 2009

Good Movie

I think it was a funny movie.. Idk what everybody else thinks but this is something that younger teens like... and they dont like to be treated like a baby and have to watch G rated films.