Mean Girls (2004) parents guide: Is the original movie appropriate for kids?

The musical version is hitting streaming, so is it time for a double feature with the fam?
Mean Girls (2004) - credit: Paramount Pictures
Mean Girls (2004) - credit: Paramount Pictures /

Mean Girls the musical is finally hitting streaming! And you know what that means, girls: it’s time to rewatch the original, 2004 movie.

Written by Tina Fey, and directed by Mark Waters, Mean Girls starred Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, and dozens of others in a broad comedy about what happens when Lohan’s Cady decides she’s had enough of high school menace Regina George (McAdams), and makes a plan to take her down.

While the movie did well in theaters, making $130 million on an $18 million budget, it’s become a perennial favorite, particularly thanks to October 3, aka Mean Girls Day, based on a date mentioned in the movie. It spawned a Broadway musical, and the 2024 musical remake that hit theaters last month.

Chances are you’ve seen the movie before – if not many times. But in case your memory has become foggy, here’s what you need to know before you set up a family double feature of both Mean Girls movies.

Mean Girls (2004) Parents Guide: Explaining The PG-13 Rating

Perhaps important to mention up front: Mean Girls was originally much raunchier, but many of the jokes were toned down so it could hit a PG-13 rating. But is it actually appropriate for 13-year-olds?

Sex & Nudity: While there’s no real explicit sex or nudity in the movie, it is packed with non-stop sexual innuendo, kissing, bra reveals, and references to – and touching of – boobs. There’s also an iconic Christmas dance that’s pretty racy, though maybe not more so than what you might see from cheerleaders at an NFL game.

Violence: None, really, other than one character getting hit by a bus – though it’s played for comedy, and she’s pretty much fine afterwards.

Language: A lot of language, though given the rating extremely light on anything super-harsh. Mostly of the insulting level, with a lot of “bitch” and “whore” getting thrown around throughout. There’s one joke that sounds like an f-bomb, but is not because of the PG-13 rating.

Drinking & Drugs: Not a ton of drinking or drugs, either. There’s a party where people are holding red plastic cups, but nothing about what’s inside. And the adults drink occasionally, but again, nothing super objectionable here.

Overall Verdict: What Age Is Mean Girls (2004) Appropriate For?

In this case, the rating is spot-on. Certainly you may need to explain some innuendos for kids if they ask. But mostly this is a perfect teen sleepover movie. Sub 13, though, you may want to use your own discretion as the jokes are raunchy and non-stop.

Next. Mean Girls (2024) parent guide: Is the reboot suitable for kids?. Mean Girls (2024) parent guide: Is the reboot suitable for kids?. dark