Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Clueless (1995)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Clueless (1995)

In writer/director Amy Heckerling's teen-oriented, coming-of-age comedy - a reimagining of Jane Austen's 1815 novel Emma set in the contemporary, elite 1990s environment of SoCal, specifically the wealthy, consumeristic suburb of Beverly Hills:

  • the central character was self-centered, ultra-rich, blonde Valley-Girl, 15 year-old sophomore high-schooler Cherilyn "Cher" Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) who spoke with distinctive lingo, including such slang expressions of the time as the PC-correct "hymenally-challenged" (instead of virgin), "as if," "what-ever," "surfing the crimson wave" (her menstrual period), "Baldwin" (meaning a very handsome male), "Betty" (Cher's term for the perfect girl), and "Monet" - ("It's like a painting, see? From far away, it's OK, but up close, it's a big old mess")
  • in the opening scene in her bedroom, the materialistic and vain Cher picked out her outfit for high school - using a computer to match her tops and bottoms: ("I actually have a way normal life for a teenage girl. I mean, I get up, I brush my teeth. And I pick out my school clothes")
  • Cher briefly spoke to her ultra-protective, wealthy, widowed, litigation lawyer-father Melvin "Mel" Hamilton (Dan Hedaya) - she bragged about him in voice-over: ("And Daddy's so good, he gets $500 an hour to fight with people. He fights with me for free because I'm his daughter"); obviously spoiled, on her way to Bronson Alcott HS, Cher drove off (with a driving permit, but without a licensed driver with her) in a white Jeep to her friend's house, Dionne Davenport (Stacey Dash) (whose boyfriend in a "dramatic relationship" was Murray Duvall (Donald Faison)); she described her similarities with Dionne: "She's my friend because we both know what it's like to have people be jealous of us....Dionne and I were both named after famous singers of the past, who now do infomercials"; Cher breezed through a stop sign, and assured Dionne: "l totally paused"; unlike Dionne, Cher chose to only date non-HS boys: "They're like dogs. You have to clean them and feed them and they're just like these nervous creatures that jump and slobber all over you"
Minor Characters

Cher's Father Mel, Litigation Attorney

Cher's Best Friend Dionne Davenport

Cher's Ex-Stepbrother Josh
  • in her school's debate class led by balding Mr. Wendell Hall (Wallace Shawn), during a classroom debate sequence, Cher discussed the topic of immigration policy for two minutes against her opponent and social rival Amber Mariens (Elisa Donovan): ('Should all oppressed people be allowed refuge in America?'); during Cher's turn to argue the "pro" position, she spoke about the Haitian people (pronounced 'Hay-tee-ans') and used a garden party anecdote: ("But it's like when I had this garden party for my father's birthday, right? I said R.S.V.P. because it was a sit-down dinner. But people came that, like, did not R.S.V.P. So I was, like, totally buggin'. I had to haul ass to the kitchen, redistribute the food, squish in extra place settings. But by the end of the day it was, like, the more the merrier! And so if the government could just get to the kitchen, rearrange some things, we could certainly party with the Haitians. And in conclusion may I please remind you it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty"); after Cher's side was presented, Amber claimed that she couldn't argue against Cher's inane statements: "If she doesn't do the assignment, I can't do mine"
  • in order to boost her semester grade of C in debate class, Cher decided to find a way to make her nerdy debate teacher Mr. Hall "sublimely happy" so that he would raise her grade: ("What that man needs is a good, healthy boink fest"); shortly later, she orchestrated match-making between Mr. Hall and Ms. Toby Geist (Twink Caplan) ("two lonely teachers") by writing a forged "Secret Admirer" love letter to Ms. Geist and other subterfuge to romantically bring them together

Mr. Wendell Hall

Ms. Toby Geist
  • at dinner time, Cher spoke with her own idealistic, college-aged ex-stepbrother Josh (Paul Rudd) who often visited to avoid his divorced mother and new stepfather; he was a socially-conscious, "do-good" environmentalist who was planning on going to school in the LA area; his non-materialistic values were completely contentious and opposite to Cher's; when they often sparred with each other, he denounced her as a "superficial space cadet" and mall-shopper, and told her of his disapproval of her shallow behavior: ("You know, if I ever saw you do anything that wasn't 90% selfish, I'd die of shock"), while she sarcastically called him an un-cool brown-noser: ("l so need lessons from you on how to be cool. Tell me that part about Kenny G again")
  • when her father asked about her grades, Cher described her general attitude toward report cards, and how she was maneuvering to raise her grades: ("Some teachers were trying to lowball me, Daddy. And I know how you say never accept a first offer. So I figured these grades are just a jumping-off point to start negotiations"); later, her father expressed surprise at her improved report card after she had successfully argued her way from a C+ to an A- and asserted to him: ("Totally based on my powers of persuasion, you proud?"); he responded: "Honey, l couldn't be happier than if they were based on real grades"
  • on her way to PE with Dionne, Cher complained: "I feel like such a heifer. I had two bowls of Special K, 3 pieces of turkey bacon, a handful of popcorn, 5 peanut butter M&M's and like 3 pieces of licorice"

Tai Frasier (Brittany Murphy) - New "Clueless" Transfer Student

Travis Birkenstock (Breckin Meyer) - Slacker and Skateboarder

Tai with Popular Student Elton Tiscia (Jeremy Sisto)
  • with Dionne, Cher (who was inspired "to do more good deeds") befriended grungy Tai Frasier (Brittany Murphy), a new (and "adorably clueless") transfer student; she attempted to give her a transformative makeover as her next "project" (with wardrobe recommendations) to increase her popularity, including bun-squeezing, aerobic workout sessions and vocabulary lessons; Cher thought she was rescuing Tai "from teenage hell": ("l'm going to take that lost soul in there and make her well-dressed and popular. Her life will be better because of me")
  • Cher's promotional efforts to encourage Tai to date handsome, rich, newly-single, popular student Elton Tiscia (Jeremy Sisto) soon failed because of Tai's strong interest in someone else - often-tardy, long-haired slacker and skateboarder Travis Birkenstock (Breckin Meyer); Cher regarded Travis as a 'doobie-smoking' "loader" that "no respectable girl actually dates"
  • during a party held in the Valley, Cher seemed to succeed in match-making Tai with Elton, and congratulated herself with an adapted quote from Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities: ("'Tis a far, far better thing doing stuff for other people"); when Elton volunteered to drive her home because his route would be close by, he attempted to make out with her in his car; when she rejected him ("Leave me alone") and got out of the car in the parking lot of the iconic Circus Liquor Store in North Hollywood - with a gigantic 'evil clown' neon sign, he drove off and abandoned her
  • Cher was mugged and robbed of her cellphone and bag, and was forced to lie face-down on the pavement; she begged the robber (Jace Alexander) to excuse her because it would ruin her dress: ("Oh, no. You don't understand. This is an Alaia....It's, like a totally important designer"), but he insisted: "l will totally shoot you in the head. Get down"; Josh was called by payphone to pick up the stranded Cher and reluctantly ventured out to drive her back to Beverly Hills with his girlfriend Heather (Susan Mohun)
  • Cher continued her match-making efforts with Tai, who had failed in her efforts to date Elton; Cher and her girlfriends spoke about their status regarding virginity (Cher admitted she was "hymenally challenged," and Dionne explained how she was still "technically" virgin); there seemed to be no other options - as Cher insightfully described the current ragged way that guys dressed: "I don't get how guys dress today. I mean, come on, it looks like they just fell out of bed and put on some baggy pants and take their greasy hair and cover it up with a backwards cap and, like, we're expected to swoon? I don't think so. Searching for a boy in high school is as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie"
  • Cher began to swoon over a fashion-conscious new student named Christian Stovitz (Justin Walker), and tried to tempt him by pretending to be popular (by sending herself love letters and gifts of candy), and by showing a little skin: ("Sometimes you have to show a little skin. This reminds guys of being naked, and then they think of sex")

Christian Stovitz (Justin Walker)

Cher Attempting to Entice Christian to Be Interested in Her
  • Cher accepted a Saturday date invitation with Christian to a dance party, who was warned by her father before they drove off: "Anything happens to my daughter, I've got a .45 and a shovel. I doubt anybody would miss you"; ostensibly to "protect" her but actually due to his own interest in Cher, Josh arrived at the party and danced with dateless Tai to please her; Josh eagerly volunteered to drive Cher home and they slowly began to bond together; on Cher's next date with Christian, he brought over two Tony Curtis videotapes to watch, Some Like it Hot and Spartacus - a hint that he was attracted to males was reinforced when he stated to Cher: "We're friends, right?"
  • with her friends Dionne and her boyfriend Murray while out on a drive, Cher questioned her relationship with Christian: "He does dress better than I do, what would I bring to the relationship?"; Cher's pairing with him was doomed when Murray revealed that Christian lacked sexual interest in Cher because he was gay: ("Your man Christian is a cake boy!...He's a disco-dancing, Oscar Wilde-reading, Streisand ticket-holding friend of Dorothy, know what I'm sayin'?...He's gay"); Cher realized how blind she had been: "l'm totally buggin'. l feel like such a bonehead"; however, they still were favorite "shopping partners"
  • after entering an LA freeway for the first time ("We're on the freeway!"), the reckless and illegal driver Dionne nearly caused multiple accidents; Murray was able to get Dionne to exit safely with helpful instruction and coaching, and the two kissed; Cher reacted: "Boy, getting off the freeway makes you realize how important love is. After that, Dionne's virginity went from technical to non-existent. And I realized how much I wanted a boyfriend of my own"
  • Cher became upset when Tai began to express an interest in Christian, and then jealous when she became even more popular (as a "damsel in distress") after being rescued by Christian from pranksters dangling her off a mall balcony (Cher: "Tai being the most popular girl in school? It was like some sort of alternate universe")
  • during Cher's own driving test with a DMV officer (Ron Orbach), she almost hit a bicyclist, and also side-swiped another car when moving to the right lane in her white Jeep: ("Oh, my bad!" and "Oh, should I write them a note?"); the officer assessed her driving: ("We're going back to the DMV...It's over...How'd you do? Ha, ha, ha. Well, let's see, shall we? You can't park, you can't switch lanes, you can't make right hand turns, you damaged private property and you almost killed someone. Off hand, I'd say you failed")
  • and then after failing and being totally depressed, she found Josh and Tai flirtatiously playing a game of hacky-sack outside her home; when Cher suggested that Josh would not "mesh" well with her, Tai reprimanded Cher: "Why am l even listening to you to begin with? You're a virgin who can't drive," and they had a falling-out; Cher began to think she had been wrong about everything: ("What did l do? I've created some sort of a monster"); she also realized that she was the "clueless" one: ("It all boiled down to one inevitable conclusion, I was just totally clueless"), and suddenly she had an epiphany - she was jealous because of her own growing love for Josh, but now felt awkward around him
  • to impress Josh with her more compassionate, purposeful and unselfish side, and to make-over her "soul" and become a better person, Cher volunteered to be the "CAPTAIN" of a charitable donation relief drive with Miss Geist to assist victims of a Pismo Beach disaster (fictitious), and began gathering items from her house, including canned goods, her unusued clothes, and even her athletic equipment (skis, etc.)
  • ultimately, after Tai made up and began pursuing Travis, Cher discovered an unexpected romance with Josh on her stairway where he complimented her: ("You're young and you're beautiful...You know you're gorgeous, all right? And popular and, uh, and, but this is not why I, you know, I come here"); and then he asked her: "Are you saying you care about me?" - and they shared a few tender kisses
  • Cher summarized as the scene shifted to a marriage ceremony: ("Well, you can guess what happened next - AS IF. I am only 16, and this is California, not Kentucky"); she was humorously referring to a match-making wedding that she attended in the film's conclusion between her two nerdy teachers Mr. Hall and Ms. Geist; after the ceremony, she was reconciled with her girlfriends Dionne and Tai, and was able to kiss Josh (her invited date) after triumphantly catching the flower bouquet

Cherilyn "Cher" Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) Narrating: "I actually have a way normal life for a teenage girl..."

Cher Picking Out Her School Clothes Using a Computer Program

Cher at HS, Wearing a Yellow Kilt Pattern

Cher's Classroom Debate Scene

Cher Rationalizing to Her Father Why Her Report Card Had Low Grades

Cher with Dionne Complaining About Feeling Like a "Heifer"

Cher's Make-Over and Fitness Sessions with New "Clueless" Transfer Student Tai Frasier

Cher with Elton

At the Valley Party: (l to r) Cher, Elton, Tai

Cher - Attracting the Attention of Elton at the Party

Cher Rejecting Elton In His Car During a Ride Home After the Party

Cher Begging a Robber To Not Ruin Her Designer Dress

The Sloppy Way Guys Dressed According to Cher

Dionne's Dangerous Drive On an LA Freeway with Boyfriend Murray and Cher

DMV Driving Test Officer to Cher: "I'd say you failed"

Cher's Epiphany: "I Love Josh!"

First Romantic Kiss Between Josh and Cher At the Top of Staircase

Kiss after the Wedding of Ms. Geist and Mr. Hall


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