Clueless’ impact on fashion and pop culture endures two decades after the film’s release. YouTube is dotted with incredibly detailed, Clueless-inspired makeup tutorials and guides on how to replicate the outfits seen in the movie, as well as video instructions on how to make the poof-capped pens Cher uses in class. However, the movie’s influence on movies and TV is far more subtle and diverse. These mashups establish why.
On the surface, Disney’s animated cartoons and Clueless don’t necessarily seem like they would have anything in common. However, this video juxtaposing scenes from The Little Mermaid with dialogue from the movie is actually perfect. In particular, pairing the line “Searching for a boy in high school is as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie” with Ariel encountering the Unfortunate Souls in Ursula’s garden is inspired.
Clueless’ rosy, sunny outlook and scenes are a far cry from Orphan Black’s sci-fi turbulence. Perhaps that’s why this video works so well: The Project Leda clone Krystal (Tatiana Maslany) needs some sympathetic souls to talk to, and Cher, Dee, and Tai fit the bill.
Here’s a great example of Clueless’ subtle impact on how modern TV shows are framed. This mashup envisions Caroline Forbes (Candice Accola) as Cher, and pals Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Bonnie (Kat Graham) as Tai and Dee, respectively. The supernatural bent of Vampire Diaries is certainly quite different from the movie’s only slightly fantastical vibe, but how the show considers female friendships as a social anchor (death and bum relationships be damned) is a subtle nod to Clueless.
Despite different premises and approaches, Clueless is very much the spiritual godmother of Mean Girls. Interspersing clips from the former into the latter’s trailer proves why: Although Clueless now seems to have slightly more edge, both films consider the inner (and social) lives of teen girls to be fraught with complex joys and disagreements.