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Every Easter Egg & Movie Reference Explained


In true spoof movie fashion, Not Another Teen Movie contains an abundance of references and Easter eggs to the biggest teen movies of the time. Not Another Teen Movie followed the trend of parody movies in the early 2000s, in this instance exaggeratingly satirizing the biggest teen comedies of the ‘80s and ‘90s. The main plot is riddled with plenty of gags making fun of teen movies sprinkled throughout.

At the helm of the teen comedy references, the movie informs viewers of the movies to be spoofed by having the story take place at John Hughes High School – named after the notable ‘80s teen comedy director. Not Another Teen Movie’s plot surrounds the idea that popular jock Jake Wyler (Captain America’s Chris Evans) dates and turns geeky girl Janey Briggs (Chyler Leigh) into a prom queen as a bet with his friend. The rest of the movie’s antics and characters are based on plotlines from popular teen movies of the era.

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Not Another Teen Movie features early performances from soon-to-be Captain America Chris Evans, Grey’s Anatomy actress Chyler Leigh, and My Name is Earl actress Jamie Pressly. Aside from the main cast, Not Another Teen Movie also contains cameos from actors of the parodied movies such as Molly Ringwald, Kyle Cease, Mellissa Joan Hart, and Sean Patrick Thomas. That said, here’s an explanation of all of the teen movies referenced in Not Another Teen Movie.

She’s All That

The 1999 teen rom-com She’s All That provides the basis for Not Another Teen Movie’s plot and primary characters. She’s All That is about Laney Boggs, who becomes the subject of a bet by popular athlete Zack Siler’s (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) bet with his friend that he can make any girl in the school popular by the end of the school year. Janey Briggs is primarily based on nerdy artist-turned-prom queen Laney Boggs (Rachel Leigh Cook), Jake Wyler on soccer-player jock Zack Siler (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), and Priscilla on Zack’s ex-girlfriend Taylor Vaughn (Jodi Lynn O’Keefe).

She’s All That is also referenced with the Deon Richmond character, whose “Token Black Guy” stereotype is based on Dulé Hill’s role. Eric Christian Olsen’s character Austin, as well as his “The Cocky Blond Guy” stereotype, is based on Paul Walker’s She’s All That role as Dean Sampson, Jr. Janey’s single dad and brother are also based on the family dynamic from She’s All That. Not Another Teen Movie also has a newly-rejuvenated Janey walk down the stairs to “Kiss Me.”

Can’t Hardly Wait

Can't Hardly Wait

Can’t Hardly Wait (1998) is a teen comedy party movie, where a graduating high school class goes to a party at a rich student’s house to celebrate. Janey’s younger brother Mitch Briggs (Cody McMains), who exemplifies “The Desperate Virgin” stereotype, is based on Preston Myers from Can’t Hardly Wait. Party of Five and Mean Girls actress Lacey Chabert’s character Amanda is a direct reference to Jennifer Love Hewitt’s character of the same name in Can’t Hardly Wait. Two of the ‘90s teen actors who make cameos in Not Another Teen Movie, Melissa Joan Hart and Sean Patrick Thomas, were also featured in Can’t Hardly Wait.

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10 Things I Hate About You

Heath Ledger as Patrick during the singing scene of 10 Things I Hate AboutYou

While most of Janey’s character is based on She’s All That, Not Another Teen Movie also takes much of her dynamic and personality from Katarina Stratford (Julia Stiles) in 10 Things I Hate About You (1999). In an early scene when Janey’s dad is driving her to school, she talks about how she’s a rebel who reads Sylvia Platt, taking from the rebel stereotype and personality points that Kat tries to push out to people. Jake also spoofs the scene where Heath Ledger’s character serenades Kat with “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” at the stadium, though in Not Another Teen Movie he sings “Janie’s Got A Gun.”

In the same car ride, Janey’s brother talks about how she needs to start hooking up with guys because of their dad’s rule that Mitch can’t have sex until Janey does. The anecdote parallels the underlying conflict of 10 Things I Hate About You where Kat’s sister Bianca devises a plan for Kat to get a boyfriend so she can date a jock because their dad has a rule that Bianca can’t date until Kat does. Another Easter egg is the Not Another Teen Movie cameo of Kyle Cease, who played preppy Bogie Lowenstein in 10 Things I Hate About You.

Varsity Blues

The 1999 football movie Varsity Blues provides a lot of inspiration for the athletic teen comedy aspect of Not Another Teen Movie. Chris Evans’ character pulls from She’s All That, though much of his stereotype features references to James Van der Beek’s Varsity Blues role, Jonathan Moxon. Similarly, Austin shares inspiration from two Paul Walker characters: Dean in She’s All That and quarterback Lance Harbor in Varsity Blues. The Ron Lester character Reggie Ray is a self-spoof of Lester’s own Varsity Blues character Billy Bob.

Pretty in Pink

The third lead teen romcom role that influences Janey’s character is Molly Ringwald’s role as Andie Walsh in Pretty in Pink (1986). She plays the outcast girl who falls for the popular guy, though the Jake Wyler role is quite different from Pretty in Pink’s Andrew McCarthy character. The main Pretty in Pink reference comes from Janey’s best friend Ricky Lipman, who plays “The Obsessed Best Friend” stereotype that was made popular by Andie’s best friend Duckie Dale (Jon Cryer). The Austin character also draws from the popular rich jerk Steff McKee (James Spader) from Pretty in Pink.

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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

The John Hughes comedy about a few students who skip school to have a great day out in Chicago gets a few references in Not Another Teen Movie. One of the subtle Easter eggs is a “SAVE FERRIS” banner in John Hughes High, which references the same logo put on a water tower in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Another Easter egg is a cameo from Ferris Bueller actor Lyman Ward, who plays Mr. Wyler in Not Another Teen Movie, and is known for his role as Ferris’s father in the John Hughes film. Another character is also based on the movie, with the Preston Waterstein character being drawn from Ferris Bueller himself.

American Pie

Jim contemplates the titular pastry in American Pie

In exemplifying “The Desperate Virgin” teen comedy stereotype, the Mitch Briggs character is inspired by Kevin Myers (Thomas Ian Nicholson) from American Pie. Janey’s brother’s group of friends’ storyline also copies the underlying plot from American Pie where a group of guys makes a pact to lose their virginity by the end of the year. There is also a direct Easter egg to American Pie’s most famous scene, where Janey’s dad finds an array of foods with holes in the center, a callback to the scene where Jim has sex with a pie. Sam Huntington’s Ox character who plays “The Sensitive Guy” role is based on Chris Klein’s Ox character in American Pie. Similarly, Samm Levine’s part as Bruce represents “The Wannabe” archetype exemplified by Jason Briggs’ American Pie character Jim.

Bring It On

Kirsten Dunst in Bring It On 2000

The John Hughes High cheerleaders recurrently spoof cheer routines and drama from the 2000 cheer comedy Bring It On. One reference includes the John Hughes cheerleaders denying stealing routines from the Compton yellow and green cheerleaders, which is part of Bring It On’s main conflict. In portraying “The Nasty Cheerleader” stereotype, the Priscilla character is based on a combination of the Bring It On‘s cheerleaders including Big Red and Torrance.

Further References & Easter Eggs

John Hughes The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club: In the library, Mitch is dressed in the same flannel, jean jacket, and hairstyle as John Bender in The Breakfast Club. The boys then spoof the “ruckus” scene with Paul Gleason reprising his role as Vernon where many of the lines are exactly the same from The Breakfast Club, even ending the scene with “Don’t You (Forget About Me).”

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Never Been Kissed: In the high school’s front office, two students talk about how an adult will be disguising herself as a teenager and they need to keep an eye out. Seconds later, an elderly woman wearing the same get-up as Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed walks in, parodying her character’s plot.

Cruel Intentions: Not Another Teen Movie spoofs Cruel Intentions’ girl-on-girl kiss scene. Sean Patrick Thomas, who cameos as “The Other Token Black Guy” also acted in Cruel Intentions. The scene where Jake asks his sister for help spoofs the plot of Cruel Intentions where two step-siblings desire each other.

Jerry Maguire: When Jake chases Janey to the airport and tries to win her with the line “You complete me,” his line is taken verbatim from the climactic scene with Tom Cruise’s character in Jerry Maguire. Janey’s response, “Jake, you had me at ‘Janey, thank God I got to you in time’,” is a spoof of Reneé Zellweger’s response, “You had me at hello.”

Risky Business: When Preston is left home alone for the weekend, he devises to have a party where he mentions getting hookers, which is what happens to Tom Cruise’s character in Risky Business. It also copies a high schooler getting pressured into attending Princeton by his father.

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Sabrina the Teenage Witch: One of the only teen television shows parodied, Sabrina the Teenage Witch is referenced thanks to a cameo from star Melissa Joan Hart instructing the “slow clap guy”, and the football game commentator thanking Hart and the series.

Rudy: The flashback football game scene where Marty, the nerdy player, is subbed into the game and then subsequently carried out spoofs the titular character and climactic scene in Rudy.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High: The teacher’s blackboard has “ALOHA” written on it and there’s a store named “Spicoli’s Television Repair” after Sean Penn’s character.

Grease: The Sandy Sue “The New Girl In School” character who dresses like she’s from the ‘50s and tries out as a cheerleader is based on Olivia Newton-John’s Sandy in Grease. The prom dance battle also parodies the contest in Grease.

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Sixteen Candles: Chris Evans’ character’s name, popular rich jock status, and hairstyle mirror Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles.

The Karate Kid: Samm Levine’s Not Another Teen Movie character wears a lot of karate outfits with a similar hachimaki to the one that Daniel Larusso in The Karate Kid.

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About the author

Benvenisti Eyal

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