“On Wednesdays we wear Pink!” (Mean Girls) Well it is Wednesday, but I am sorry to say I am not wearing anything pink. Due to the lack of new shows airing because of the holiday season, I thought it would be a good time to start diving deeper into the roles of some of my favorite characters on television. While the good girl typically saves the day or solves the mystery in the nick of time, it got me thinking about the mean girls who sometimes end up in the background, no matter how much they try to hog the spotlight.
While the Mean Girls film is one of my absolute favorites, I started to think about some characters from television shows who could have easily been invited to sit at their table. While these female characters put their best effort forward to look amazing and act fierce, they each have a likable quality as well, which goes to show that there is a lot more to them than initially meets the eye. My top 5 TV Mean Girls of all time are:
Alison DiLaurentis from Pretty Little Liars.
“Friends share secrets. That’s what keeps us close.” (Alison from Pretty Little Liars)
If you haven’t gotten a chance to binge-watch Pretty Little Liars yet, I absolutely recommend it. Just when you think you have it figured out, there is a new twist or turn. Please note spoilers are ahead as a warning. In the beginning of the series, four friends are trying to figure out the mystery behind Alison’s disappearance and presumed death. There are flashbacks from the past along the way which showcase how mean Alison was to those around her.
Alison had the gift of manipulation and spoke to others in such a condescending manner, that even adults feared her. At this point in the show, it didn’t seem like Alison had any redeeming qualities. She made Hanna feel bad about her weight and led Emily on, realizing that she was a lesbian without a care in the world. She also strategically used the secrets of her friends against them and played them to her advantage. However, later we learn that Alison is actually alive and the mysterious A is out to punish her along with her friends.
While Alison never really leaves her mean girl card behind, she does start to show signs of truly caring for others, especially Emily, as she does have romantic feelings for her. When the series goes five years into the future, Alison is actually a school teacher and tries to pay it forward, but still refuses to allow anyone to step on her or get in her way.
Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl.
“Ladies you can give your tiny brains a rest. Once again the world has proven that anything you can do, I can do better.” (Blair from Gossip Girl)
Blair is the image of perfection in Gossip Girl. Her ensembles and make-up are always flawless and she even has minions who follow her around and follow her every demand, as if they were truly serving a queen. Blair even refers to herself as the “Queen Bee” and her loyal subjects at her prep high-school in New York City don’t really challenge her on this. Blair is infamous for her schemes and frequently feuds with her best friend, Serena.
While Blair is not afraid to fight dirty, she refuses to shatter her image of perfection in the process. She is typically the master-mind behind the scheme and has others do her bidding, refusing to apologize for her actions. While it seems that this mean girl is cold and heartless, Blair does have a loving side. Her on and off again romance with Chuck Bass reveals her vulnerability, as she finds herself thinking with her heart before her head here, exposing that she does have goodness within. Nevertheless, you certainly do not want to ever cross Blair because she will do whatever it takes to win.
Cheryl Blossom from Riverdale.
“You catatonic bimbos didn’t vote for me!” (Cheryl from Riverdale)
Cheryl has the mean girl act down pat for sure. She doesn’t enter a room unless she has her perfect shade of dark crimson lip-stick flawless in order to match her hair. Much like her hair, Cheryl is fiery and passionate. She is not afraid to speak her mind and often says insensitive things without realizing it. Cheryl is the head of the cheer-leading squad and treats the other girls like her subjects, completely appalled when she is voted out and Veronica becomes captain.
Cheryl is not just talk however; as her actions have proven to be very dangerous. She even sets her house on fire with her mother still inside without thinking twice about it. Cheryl does reveal glimmers of goodness along the way. She was truly impacted by the loss of her twin brother, Jason and she does try to help Betty and the gang here and there to prove that she can be useful. However, Cheryl is damaged by the deceit and betrayal of her family and it’s not so easy to turn off the mean girl vibe. While I have hope for Cheryl, she is still a girl to watch out for.
Valerie Malone from Beverly Hills, 90210.
“I’m not Brenda. I’m never going to be Brenda. Don’t talk to me about Brenda!” (Val to Dylan in Beverly Hills, 90210)
Valerie Malone still deserves a spot toward the top of this list even after all this time. Known for being a scheming femme fatale, she fools everyone when she arrives to town, appearing to be a sweet and innocent girl from the mid-west. However, the characters from our favorite zip code are in for a rude awakening, as Val unleashes her street smarts and uses her powers of persuasion and manipulation to break apart this happy group of friends.
Val has romantic relationships with pretty much all of the main characters including Dylan, Brandon, David, and Steve. As a result, she burns bridges fairly quickly with Kelly who becomes her main rival. Val’s snappy one-liners and sneaky maneuvers prove that she is one to watch. She has grown past the high school drama, however; and moves on to blackmailing and dangerous negotiations to help her become a successful business woman. Talk about making a deal with the devil, Val doesn’t allow anyone to double-cross her.
Val is not all bad, however; as she has a very troubled past and does truly care for Brandon as if he were her own family. Val tries to be a good person, but when the task becomes too difficult, she finds it easier to hide behind her bad girl image.
Cordelia Chase from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
“God! What is your childhood trauma? Excuse me, I have to call everyone I have ever met, right now.” (Cordelia to Buffy when she attacks her by accident)
So my number one pick for best TV mean girl has to go to the beautiful and hilarious, Cordelia Chase. While Buffy and Willow tend to have most of the fan-base and get a lot of air time, one should not discount Cordelia. She started out in a supporting role, playing the mean girl role to a tee, as if it was her calling in life to be unpleasant to those around her. However, later in the series, Cordelia becomes a member of the Scoobies and does try to lend a helping hand…when it’s convenient for her.
One of my favorite episodes is when her and Buffy compete for Homecoming queen. Cordelia is not about to just hand over the crown to Buffy and goes through great lengths to defeat her. The two end up caught in a trap cleverly called “Slayerfest 98” where the vampires mistake Cordelia for Faith. Nonetheless, the two have to make amends and put differences aside to stay alive, even if it means using a spatula as a weapon.
Cordelia does eventually grow into a caring person especially when she joins Angel in LA, but one cannot forget her witty come-backs and her unforgiving attitude. She even tells a ghost off in Angel, proving that she is not going to let anyone step on her, supernatural or not. Cordelia would probably end up leading the “Plastics” if she were in the Mean Girls film, proving to be a timeless mean girl that we still root for.
I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your favorite TV mean girls. Happy viewing!
Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl