One of the defining features of a classic teen flick are the cliques. Whether it’s the mean girls, the theater freaks, or the emo kids, you don’t have an accurate depiction of an all-American high school without some cliques. But here’s the thing: When you watch these movies as a kid, you sort of expect cliques to seriously dominate high school life. But do they really? I mean, sure, they exist, but if you ask me cliques were way more vicious in middle school than they ever were in high school. In middle school you’re so concerned with defining yourself and sticking to a set group of people who can validate that identity. For most of us, as we get older, we feel a little less beholden to those barriers and aren’t afraid to venture off and–essentially–hang out with whoever we want. That might not be relatable to everyone, but it was for me and plenty of others. Hell, by the time you graduate high school, you could be friends or at the very least acquaintances with someone who you never would have dreamed you’d even talk to when you were stuck in that early teens MUST STICK TO YOUR OWN KIND mentality.
But a lot of movies and TV shows didn’t quite get the memo. In pop culture, characters live and die by their cliques. It’s over-exaggerated like crazy, but hey, it’s entertainment. And, of course, some fictional cliques took this over-exaggeration to crazy heights. To get an idea of what I’m talking about, check out this round up of nine of the most over the top cliques from your favorite shows and films. Just be grateful most cliques don’t actually act like this.
The Plastics From 'Mean Girls'This list would be incomplete without The Plastics, so let's get them out of the way right here, right now. Where to begin on their over the top BS? The Burn Book for starters, right? I mean, being so petty about your disdain for your classmates that you actually take the time to compile their photos into an album filled with your hate? Oh, and wearing pink on Wednesdays? Man, what if you don't want to wear pink that day? What if your pink Juicy Couture pants are in the laundry? What then? And not being able to wear track pants on a Friday or rock a ponytail more than once a week? The Plastics are a damn dictatorship, guys. Ain't nobody got time for that.
The Ashleys From 'Recess'As someone named Ashley, I both loved and resented the Ashleys from Recess. On the one hand, they perpetuated the idea that all Ashleys are evil "Alpha-Bitch" types...which isn't true (er, I hope)! At the same time, I had to give it up to the Ashleys for being one of the most over the top cliques in pop culture. Not only did they have their own dope clubhouse under a pile of tires on the playground (it was sweet), they even had their own tagline that they always squealed in sync: "Ooooh, scandalous!. I think it was impossible to not low key want to be in their crew, no matter how evil they could be.
The Girls From 'Wish Upon A Star'When this used to air on Disney Channel back in the day, I remember being so shook by the rules this crew had. They were required to shave every single day (stubble was shamed on sight), they couldn't eat tuna at lunch, and had to break up with their boyfriends after a set amount of time. At the end of the movie, they realized the rules were absurd, but jeez, it took 90 minutes for them to realize this?
The Clique From 'Jawbreaker'What's a murder between friends? Well, it's basically the plot of Jawbreaker and gives you a pretty good idea of just how intense and, frankly, scary the clique of Jawbreaker is. I mean, when the most unpopular girl in school found out about their, er, accidental murder, the crew turned her into one of them. Of course, they created a monster (who doesn't love that cliche?) but she was only a monster because she was acting like them. Bloop, bloop, bloop!
The Fashion Club From 'Daria'Oh, The Fashion Club. So shallow, so conniving, so...deliciously entertaining. What was so funny about the Fashion Club is that they're technically part of school organization. But...they seem to be the only members? I mean, they weren't the only ones who liked fashion at the school, but the few requests for membership highlighted on the show were always swiftly denied. There's exclusivity, and there's this level of exclusivity. Aside from that, the rules this club maintained were so ridiculous to uphold that they were constantly kicking each other out of the club.
The Girls In 'The Craft'The clique from The Craft wasn't like most cliques in movies or TV shows. They were outsiders, the school weirdos...oh, and they were literal witches. But while they seem like cool witches at first, you quickly realize that they use their powers for some sketchy stuff too, and then continue to use those powers to intimidate their newest member. Like, using magic to mind f**k your so-called friend into doing what you want is peak over the top clique behavior. There's a lot of "eating your own" behavior in cliques--IRL and in pop culture--but this was an extreme example of it.
The Pretties From 'Some Girls'What's impressive about The Pretties from British TV Show Some Girls is just how identical they all are. I mean, we know that blondes get a bad rep in the world of teen movies and TV shows, because they're usually the head of some evil clique, perhaps with a couple brunettes flanking her. But The Pretties? They're all blonde, like a squad of evil teen clones. Now that's dedication to a stereotype.
The Heathers From 'Heathers'If you haven't seen Heathers yet, watch it. It's the precursor for every dark teen girl movie. Their over the top qualities? Hard to give too much away without spoilers, but listen...when you rock a power suit to school every day and say stuff like, "Bulimia is so 1987" then you're wild from the jump. Oh, and can we talk about how everyone in the Heathers was named Heather except for one (Veronica, played by Winona Ryder)? That's some next level nonsense. You gotta change the name on principal.
The Goth Kids From 'South Park'I love the Goth Kids from South Park because their entire existence is lampooning the absurd exclusivity of cliques. They also emphasize that cliques aren't just for the pretty, popular queen bee types; the outcasts can be jerks who adhere to ridiculous clique politics too. They prided themselves in being non-conformists, but just end up conforming to one another. Brilliant.
What other pop culture cliques should be on this list? Tell us in the comments!