How Mean Girls Confirmed Janis Was a Plastic

Mean Girls follows Cady Heron as she enrolls in a new high school, and she falls in with outcasts Janis Ian and Damian Leigh, who conspire for Cady to infiltrate the popular girls, AKA The Plastics. However, along the way, Cady loses herself before learning a valuable lesson in peer pressure and identity. Despite the film being almost two decades old, its impact on popular culture remains as relevant as ever, and one of the most iconic moments is the talent show sequence where Cady joins The Plastics for their annual dance to Jingle Bell RockThe Jingle Bell Rock sequence not only provides memorable costumes, but it also reveals a subtle detail about Janis.

Damian asks her if she is bothered by the fact that The Plastics still use the choreography she came up with in the talent show every year. This small line may imply that Janis was once a Plastic herself, and it adds an additional layer of explanation as to why Janis is so intent on ruining all of The Plastics, not just Regina.

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It's made clear that Janis' issue with Regina specifically is not just because she's the Queen Bee and leader of The Plastics. Regina spread rumors around school that Janis was a lesbian. Regardless of whatever her sexuality is, it didn't matter, for Regina ostracized Janis from her peers, but it may have also pushed Janis out of The Plastics altogether.

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This is speculation, but it's possible in middle school Janis was a Plastic, and not only was she part of the group, but she may have been a threat to Regina's role as leader. Perhaps that could have been the motivation behind Regina's homophobic attacks against Janis. Afterall, Regina likes to be in control, so it makes sense that she would strongly react to any threat to her power.

When Damian asks Janis about the Jingle Bell Rock choreography, he's opening up Janis' backstory and giving audiences reason to believe Janis wasn't just friends with Regina; she was actually a Plastic. This would help explain why her quest for vengeance applies to the whole group and not just at Regina. Janis Ian may not be a Plastic by the events of Mean Girls but that doesn't mean she wasn't at one point.

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Margaret Lockyer (341 Articles Published)

Margaret Lockyer has a degree in English with an emphasis on Apocalyptic Literature and a double major in History which she earned while playing ice hockey for the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers. She currently works in the Canadian film industry and in her spare time she likes practicing yoga, talking about movies, and petting dogs. You can find her on LinkedIn:

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