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MFF DATA – An In-Depth Analysis of the Meanness in Mean Girls (2004)

July 22, 2022

In 2022, Mean Girls is still everywhere. The musical is touring, the movie is fetching huge numbers on Netflix, and there are loads of articles analyzing writer Tina Fey’s 2004 cult classic. It’s because of all the hype that I decided to watch it again because I remember really enjoying it when I watched it in 2004 (ESPN, Glen Coco, and the likable cast are the highlights for me). While watching the central characters being horrible to each other, I began to wonder which of the characters were the meanest. To do this, I rewatched the movie, counted every instance of characters being mean (mean comments, lying, manipulating, scheming, backstabbing, not keeping secrets), and then recorded the screen time of each character.

I knew Regina George would have the most mean moments, but I wanted to know who has the most mean moments per minute average. The results are fun.

Quick Note – I only have so much free time, so I counted screen time as any moment in which the characters are around to make a comment. For instance, during the big gymnasium scene, I counted that for every character (Regina, Karen, Gretchen, Jaius, Damian, Cady) because they are all in the gymnasium. Also, when Cady first meets the plastics, I recorded the time for every character since they are all in the cafeteria. Logging the individual frames would’ve sucked my soul from my body.

Amount of Mean Moments

  1. Regina – 31
  2. All the other characters – 26
  3. Janis – 18
  4. Damian – 15
  5. Cady – 15
  6. Gretchen – 8
  7. Aaron – 3
  8. Karen – 2

There are 1.26 mean comments/actions every minute (118 total moments – 93 minute running time – I took out the 3 minutes of credits)

Post image

How Often Do They Say/Do Something Mean?

  1. Regina – 47.55 minutes of screen time – Does something mean every 1.53 minutes of screen time
  2. Janis – 28.7 minutes of screen time – Does something mean every 1.59 minutes
  3. Damian – 30 minutes of screen time – Does something mean every 2 minutes
  4. Cady – 82.3 minutes of screen time – Does something mean every 5.49 minutes
  5. Aaron – 17.68 minutes of screen time – Does something mean every 5.89 minutes
  6. Gretchen – 47.3 minutes of screen time – Does something mean every 6.75 minutes
  7. Karen – 44.65 minutes of screen time – Does something mean every 22.3 minutes

Conclusion – Regina is the worst, but she and Janis are almost tied when it comes to how often they say/ or do something mean.

Here are the moments and the timestamps. Pardon the vague writing. It makes sense to me. This is meant to let you know that I didn’t pull the moments out of thin air. I put the work in.

  • Damian/Janis – Laugh at Cady – 2:23 – 2:55 – 2
  • Janis/Damian – They have her skip a class and call themselves her friends – 6:50
  • Janis – She everyone ignores the pronunciation of Cady – 7:20
  • Janis/Damian – 8:11 – Dumb, Ho-Bag, Hair – 3
  • Girl – Regina – She punched me in the face – 8:38
  • Janie – 9:00 – You’ve out gayed yourself
  • Janis / Tina Fey – 9:18 – Cafeteria Map
  • Regina – 10:00 – Shakes a guy down – MAY COUNT
  • Regina – 10:50 – Retarded
  • Regina – 11:50 – She completely ignores Cady
  • Damian – 12:11 – Danny DeVito
  • Janis – 12:38 – Pushes Cady to spy on plastics
  • Gretchen – 14:00 – Art Freaks insult
  • Regina – 16:20 – Get in loser, we are going shopping
  • Regina – 16:40 – Math Club – Social Suicide
  • Regina – 17:25 – Sticks up for friend. Burns girl.
  • Regina – 18:20 – I know right
  • Regina – Please stop talking – 19:00
  • Regina – 20:30 – Could you go fix your hair
  • Mean Girls – 20:40 – Burn book
  • Janis – 21:40 – She manipulates Cady
  • Damian – 21:45 – Insults outfit
  • Damian – 22:28 – mathletes insult
  • Janis – 22:45 – That is bleak
  • Janis – 22:50 – Keep spying on Regina
  • Gretchen – 22:30 – Tells Regina about Aaron
  • Regina – 23:10 – Sets up Cady
  • Cady – 25:15 – She lies about practice
  • Regina/Aaron – 27:12 – Regina manipulates
  • Regina – 28:04 – Retarded
  • Janis – 29:36 – Plans to take out the plastics
  • Regina – 30:40 – Messes with Aaron’s hair
  • Janis/Cady – 31:17 – Make face cream for Regina
  • Janis – 31:50 – Cuts hole in shirt
  • Janis – 32:30 – Crack Gretchen
  • Regina – 33:04 – Makes a homophobic comment
  • Regina – 33:45 – Retarded
  • Regina – 33:54 – Mean about skirt (but makes person feel good)
  • Cady – Crack Gretchen Weiners – 34:27 –
  • Damian – None for Gretchen Weiners – 35:03
  • Regina – Moves Gretchen – 37:20
  • Regina – Lip gloss – 39:45
  • Regina – Stop trying to make Fetch happen – 40:20
  • Cady/Janis/Damian – They make Gretchen crack – 40:42
  • Regina – 41:45 – Cheating
  • Cady/Damian – 42:02 – Manipulating
  • Damian/Janis/Cady – Bars – 42:36
  • Regina – Shut up – 43:11
  • Regina – 43:34 – Move Gretchen
  • Janis – 44:51 – Baby Prostitute
  • Cady/Aaron – 45:24 – Tutor behind back
  • Cady/Aaron – She’s cheating on you – 46:31
  • Janis/Damian/Cady – Cross off name – 46:35
  • Regina – God Karen you are so stupid – 47:02
  • Damian – Cheats – 48:14
  • Cady – Army of Skanks – 48:20
  • Cady – 49:19 – Lies
  • Janis – scratch off – 49:46
  • Cady – How do you know – 50:30
    Cady – Queer – 50:50
  • Cady – Lies – 51:30
  • Regina – 52:15 – Such a slut
  • Cady – 52:25 – Tricks Regina – three way call
  • Karen – So annoying – 53:15
  • Gretchen – Tells Karen about being a slut – 53:36
  • Regina – 53:40 – Whore
  • Regina – 54:10 – Disgusting vest
  • Cady – 54”25 – Sits there while Regina is kicked out from table
  • Janis 54:41 – Army of skanks – 54:41
  • Cady – 55:03 – Cady Lies
  • Cady – 55:22 – Control everyone around me
  • Gretchen – Told guy about lie – 57:40
  • Cady – 59:15 – I would never lie to you
  • Cady – 1:01:15 – In love with me or something
  • Regina – 1:03:06 – Writes in book to trick people
  • Regina – 01:05:32 – She puts the copies all over the school
  • Gretchen – Lies – 01:05:33
  • Tina Fey – 01:06:13 – Writing
  • Gretchen – Brat – 01:40:30
  • Janis – 01:15:20 – Talks about Regina
  • Regina – 01:16:14 – Mean
  • Cady – 01:17:44 – Cady lies
  • Damian/Janis – Move her seat – 01:18:40
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