Why ‘Clueless’ Is Still Relatable 20 Years Later

There is no more perfect teen movie than Clueless. Seriously, it’s a fact. You have an alarming combination of cute and hideous clothes (the yellow and red plaid outfits are okay, but anything furry or fuzzy definitely is not), some amazing slang (As if!), and timeless themes of love, friendship, and family. It’s crazy to think that 10 years have passed since the film’s debut in 1995. I have been a huge fan of this crazy fun movie since I was just a kid growing up in the 90s – after my mom finally let me watch it (she was worried about the drinking/party scenes, which in reality are only a few seconds long). It may be 2015 now and we no longer have huge cellphones or say we’re “tardy” instead of “late” but we can still definitely relate to Clueless. After all, thanks to Urban Outfitters, plaid has been making a comeback.

  1. We’ve all fallen for a guy friend who was actually gay. Especially in high school (and in college, too), these things happen. Okay, so the subject was not treated all that seriously and the focus was on Cher’s fashion obsession — Dionne says, “He does like to shop, Cher, and the boy can dress.” But either way, this situation didn’t just exist in the 90s.
  2. We’ve all mistakenly thought life would be better with a makeover. When Cher gives new student Tai a whole new look (R.I.P. Britanny Murphy), Tai starts getting noticed by guys. But they’re not right for her. The movie’s cutest love connection is between Tai and skater boy Travis, who likes her the way she was before – baggy clothes and super curly hair and all. Not a very subtle message but hey, that’s Hollywood for you, and it’s a nice message anyway so it’s all good.
  3. BFFs mean the world to you in high school. You know that friend you had who was basically a sister? You’re probably still besties. And I like to think that Cher and Dionne, who wore matching yet unique outfits (it’s an art form) are still super close, wherever they ended up after graduation.
  4. Nothing good happens at parties. In what is probably the most iconic scene in the movie, Cher and Tai go to party in the Valley that ends in a fashion-related crime/disaster. Cher tries to set Tai up with Ethan, who instead makes the moves on Cher while driving her home. She escapes and ends up being held at gunpoint – in a designer dress. An extreme example, but still. Parties are never as fun as advertised. You make small talk, eat too many chips and drink too much. And wish you were at home. The end.
  5. You have to date a bunch of losers before you find your Josh. It takes Cher the entire film to figure out what we all already knew: that she was totally into Josh. She was always unlucky in love before and fell for the wrong guys. You can definitely relate because you’ve been on so many dates and now will know the right person when you meet him.
  6. Your first time has to happen when you’re ready, not when you think you should just do it already. You have to respect Cher and Dionne: they hold onto their virginities until they’re 100 percent ready. It’s always a smart strategy.
  7. Gym class still sucks. Back in high school, you probably couldn’t get a doctor’s note like Amber since you probably didn’t have a nose job (or a plastic surgeon, either). So you had to suffer through the timeless torture that is gym class. I will never forget how happy I was when tenth grade rolled around and gym was no longer required.
  8. A good outfit takes time. Every girl knows the drill: the perfect party or first date outfit doesn’t just happen magically and with zero prep. Cher has an awesome system down: taking photos of herself and choosing from them on the computer. You might just try on a bunch of different dresses and call it a day, but the intention is the same.
  9. Trying too hard doesn’t get you the guy. Being yourself will. Cher’s efforts to get Christian to fall for her come off as way too desperate. She’s meant to be with Josh because he sees her curled up in front of cartoons and eating green beans with her hands at the dinner table. I always wanted to eat green beans that way, too, when I was a kid and saw this movie. But anyway. Cher is so much happier when she realizes that the right guy doesn’t care about anything except who you truly are.
  10. “As If!” is still the most perfect comeback for something totally unreasonable. A second date with that guy from Tinder who showed up an hour late, the idea that you would actually go outside this weekend instead of catching up on Orange is the New Black. Whatever the situation, this 90s slang is the answer.
Aya Tsintziras is a freelance lifestyle writer and editor from Toronto, Canada. In addition to writing about dating and relationships for Bolde, she also writes about movies, TV, and video games for ScreenRant and GameRant. She has a Political Science degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Journalism from Ryerson University. You can find her on Twitter @ayatsintziras and on Instagram @aya.tsintziras.