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Mean Girls
Photograph: Paramount Pictures

Everyone’s saying the same thing about the new ‘Mean Girls’ trailer

The internet is not happy – and it’s nothing to do with the lack of songs

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen

We don’t know a lot about movie marketing but it would seem that as a basic rule of thumb ‘your mother’ is a phrase to avoid in a film slug line. Life is always so much simpler when you leave other people’s mothers out of it.

Only, not for the brains trust over Mean Girls HQ. In a bid to carve a fresh space in the zeitgeist for January’s new, musical reimagining of the 2004 high-school classic, the movie’s new trailer is stressing – and you won’t find this in any marketing text books – that ‘this is not your mother’s Mean Girls’.

Inevitably, the internet did not like having its mum dragged into it and the Twitter/X has been awash with peppery rejoinders and mum-adjacent horror gifs. Take a scroll through the ’WTF?!’ of it all below.

From there, it turns to body horror surprisingly quickly with a gif of Cocoon’s shrivelled up alien.
And the elderly, terrifying Pearl from Ti West’s Pearl.
Was George Cukor’s classic comedy The Women the Mean Girls of the late ’30s? Did Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell make fetch happen? @colormejorge says yes.
Props to author @KayAyDrew for pointing out the most obvious flaw in the argument: the mothers of this Mean Girls’ target audience were probably not teenagers when the 2004 film came out.

1988’s coal-black high-school comedy Heathers is a more likely touchpoint, along with Clueless and about 19 Molly Ringwald films. Seriously, remake Sixteen Candles and make it less problematic. It’s an open goal. 

Expect #YourMothergate to blow over and a new fury to emerge. It might be the songs, it might be the gender politics, but when you redux a film as beloved as Mean Girls, all kinds of virality comes with it.

If you’d prefer to reserve judgment until seeing it, Mean Girls will be hitting theaters worldwide on January 12.

Read our verdict of ‘Mean Girls’, the Broadway musical.

The 100 best teen movies of all time.

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