All the '90s and 2000s Teen-Movie Easter Eggs You Probably Missed in "Do Revenge"
Though Netflix's latest campy revenge comedy, "Do Revenge", is set in a Gen-Z world, it cleverly imbues the angsty teenage drama with classic nods to popular movies from the '90s and the early aughts. Directed and cowritten by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson ("Someone Great"), "Do Revenge" tells the story of a former It girl, Drea (Camila Mendes), whose social status at her preppy high school takes a massive hit when her sex tape gets leaked by her boyfriend (played by "Euphoria"'s Austin Abrams) while all her fair-weather friends turn against her. Fueled with rage, Drea joins hands with newly transferred Eleanor (Maya Hawke) to exact revenge on those who hurt them in the past.
While the chaotic duo's elaborate retaliation plans and antics are hilariously delicious to witness, the little Easter eggs peppered throughout the plot made the whole 120-minute ride all the more gratifying and enjoyable for teen-movie aficionados. From recreating certain beloved aspects of cult-classic teen movies like "Cruel Intentions" and "Mean Girls" to incorporating subtle callbacks from "Jawbreaker" and "Promising Young Women," here are all the ways in which "Do Revenge" deftly pays homage to nostalgic Y2K cinema.
The uniform for Rosehill Country Day, the fancy high school in "Do Revenge," is remarkably similar to the iconic plaid ensemble worn by Cher Horowitz (played by Alicia Silverstone) in the hit 1995 rom-com "Clueless." But that's not the only noticeable influence in the 2022 flick. In one scene, when Drea is leaving her classroom, the board behind her playfully reads "Horowitz Hall," winking at the viewers who caught this tribute to Cher.
The campus tour given by Gabby (Talia Ryder) to Eleanor in the movie also takes a page from "Clueless," where Cher gives Tai a brief rundown of the social cliques in the school. And just like its successor, "Do Revenge" features an upbeat indie-rock cover of Kim Wilde's "Kids in America" done by Maude Latour, which plays during the opening sequence of "Clueless." Another little detail that grabbed our attention is the fluffy pen Drea uses during one of her classes. It is eerily similar to the one used by Cher in "Clueless." Talk about meticulous planning!
Of course, the ultimate teen movie "Mean Girls" also inspired some aspects of "Do Revenge." The most obvious similarity between the two is the squad Drea used to be a part of, consisting of Tara (Alisha Boe), Montana (Maia Reficco), and Meghan (Paris Berelc). Another instance that mirrors "Mean Girls" is when Drea casually wanders the halls amidst the chaos after exposing Max's repeated infidelity in front of the entire school. A similar pandemonium breaks loose when Regina George unveils the contents of the Burn Book as she stands still amid the chaos wearing a devilish smile.
Another little callback you may not have picked up on occurs when Drea drugs the senior class by putting mushrooms in the dinner cooked by Carissa (Ava Capri). While the students, all fidgety and high off their faces, are causing mayhem under the influence, one student, Allegra, is seen using her shoe as a phone to contact her mother as she sobs, saying, "Mom, please just come get me. I don't wanna be here!" Fans of "Mean Girls" might recall the meme-worthy scene where a guy, finding himself in the middle of the havoc caused by Regina after she publishes the Burn Book pages, calls his mom, saying, "Mom, can you pick me up? I'm scared."
"10 Things I Hate About You"
Who can forget the incredibly romantic paintball date that Patrick and Kat from "10 Things I Hate About You" go on? Drea and Russ's (Rish Shah) paintball fight seems to be a nod to the 1999 classic. Not to mention, both of these sequences culminate in a beautiful kiss between the pair.
The most apparent link between "Cruel Intentions" and "Do Revenge" is probably the casting of Sarah Michelle Gellar, who appears as the headmaster of Rosehill in the latter. Gellar played Kathryn in the 1999 movie. According to Robinson, the casting of Gellar was deliberate to draw these mind-blowing parallels between the two fictional worlds, the clues for which are displayed abundantly throughout the movie.
In the first school assembly, Gabbi can be seen reading "Les Liaisons Dangereuses," the 1782 French novel that inspired "Cruel Intentions." Another nod pops up inside one of Drea's classes, where the banner at the back of the class quotes one of the dialogues from the book. "When one woman strikes at the heart of another, she seldom misses, and the wound is invariably fatal," it reads.
Moreover, the ending scene where Drea and Eleanor gleefully drive off in a vintage car recreates the final moments of "Cruel Intentions" where Annette (Reese Witherspoon) takes off in Sebastian's (Ryan Phillippe) car.
"Promising Young Woman"
After confronting Drea for bullying her in the past, Eleanor stands in front of the mirror, and as she analyses her actions, she coldly smudges the red lipstick she's wearing with the back of her hand, much like the protagonist of "Promising Young Woman," Cassandra (Carey Mulligan), does. It's worth noting that both females are consumed with violent rage, which prompts them to spiral further down the rabbit hole of vengeance. However, they may have cryptically foreshadowed this moment earlier in the story, when we see a giant painting in Eleanor's room with lipstick smeared over the subject's face.
"Romy and Michele's High School Reunion"
Drea's iridescent metallic blue birthday outfit that she wore at the opening bash draws inspiration from the celebrated dresses worn by Romy (Mira Sorvino) and Michele (Lisa Kudrow) in "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion." "We definitely talked about Romy and Michele a lot," Robinson said in a Netflix interview confirming the reference. "I wasn't directly inspired by Romy and Michele, but that was a movie we spoke about a lot in terms of finding the visual language and the vibes for the costumes. That was a huge touchstone for us."
We'd be remiss not to include the subtle "Jawbreaker" Easter egg hidden in plain sight during the opening shot of "Do Revenge." The license plate on the car pulling up at Drea's birthday celebration has "DUMBTCH" written on its rear end, while Fern's car plate had the word "BITCH" written on it. When speaking with Time, Robinson revealed the origin story of this cheeky frame. "That came because Netflix told me to cut [the line] 'that dumb bitch,' and I thought it would be funny to start off the frame with that license plate," she said.
However, Robinson added that the callback was not intentional and was purely subconscious, having devoured many classic hits growing up. "As a fan of the genre, this stuff just lives in your brain and your soul, so it probably came from somewhere deep in my psyche," she told the publication.
Even though "Do Revenge" doesn't lean on the slasher trope of many hit '90s scary movies, it does include a nod to the popular slasher-thriller franchise "Scream." The school fountain where Drea and her former friends would often hang out was included in the story to recreate the hangout session of Sidney (Neve Campbell) and co. in "Scream." "The fountain in the center of Rosehill does not exist in the location," Robinson said in a chat with Vanity Fair. "We built that. And it is an homage to 'Scream.' Obviously, 'Do Revenge' is not a slasher, but tonally it's something that I went to a lot."
"Strangers on a Train"
"Do Revenge" is loosely based on the concept of the 1950 psychological thriller "Strangers on a Train" by Patricia Highsmith. The book, also adapted for a feature movie by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951, follows two men who decide to swap each other's murders. In one of her initial scenes, Eleanor sits on the grass while reading "Strangers on a Train" at tennis camp. What's more? The name of the country club, Haines Club & Courts, seems to have derived from one of the central characters in the aforementioned book, Guy Haines.
Though the vengeance in "Do Revenge" doesn't get as violent and murderous as the 1988 dark comedy "Heathers," the Netflix teen flick embraced a memorable scene from the iconic flick starring Winona Ryder. When Drea visits Carissa at the rehab center, we get a shot of the latter playing croquet, something Heather's snobby clique often enjoyed in the popular '80s satirical movie.