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20 reasons to love clueless as it celebrates its 20th anniversary

As if! Clueless is 20 years old this weekend, so here's a countdown of all the reasons it remains the ultimate teen flick.

by Nick Levine
|
Jul 17 2015, 4:06pm

This Sunday, it will be 20 years since Clueless first opened in theaters. To celebrate the lasting impact of Amy Heckerling's classic teen flick (a modern-day take on Jane Austen's Emma) we've counted up 20 ways in which Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone's breakout role) and her Beverly Hills pals Dionne (Stacey Dash), Tai (Brittany Murphy), Elton (Jeremy Sisto), Murray (Donald Faison) and Josh (Paul Rudd) have continued to influence us over the last two decades.

1. Heckerling's script was super fashion-literate, giving props to Calvin Klein, Fred Segal and Azzedine Alaïa, whom Cher famously hails as "like, a totally important designer" while she's being robbed at gunpoint.

2. The matching plaid skirt suits worn by Cher and Dionne to class at Bronson Alcott High School would become one of the 90s defining teen looks.

3. Cher's signature over-the-knee socks were also pretty slick. Heckerling says they were actually inspired by Liza Minnelli in Cabaret.

4. Cher also helped to bring back the beret, an accessory now enjoying yet another revival in Marc Jacobs' fall/winter 15 collection.

5. Heckerling's Clueless dialogue had a massive impact on the way we, like, speak. Next time you watch the film, count the times you're tempted to exclaim "As if!" in the hours afterwards.

6. OK, so some of the film's lingo sounds pretty anachronistic now - when was the last time you heard anyone say "buggin'", which means "freaking out", or "she's a total Betty", which translates as "she's a major babe?" But other Clueless slang like "phat" and "doobie" remained popular for longer, and branding an unattractive rival "hagsville" will never get old.

7. And Clueless also encouraged us all to speak more loquaciously. When Cher tells Tai, "We've got to work on your accent and vocabulary," she could have been talking to all of us. So, as Cher says in the film: "Sporadic means once in a while. Try and use it in a sentence today."

8. It taught us that true love knows no bounds. Even when you're two totally tragic teachers, or crushin' on your Neitzsche-reading step brother...

9. It also gave girls a nifty alternative to "it's my time of the month". Cher's "surfing the crimson wave" is just so much more elegant.

10. It gave us an awesome 90s soundtrack featuring Supergrass's Alright, The Muffs' cover of Kids in America, The Lightning Seeds' Change and of course Coolio's Rollin' with My Homies which famously became Tai and Elton's song. #NeverForget

11. And let's not forget this totally underrated punk-pop gem, Supermodel by Jill Sobule, which should be played way more than sporadically.

12. It made it OK to flunk your driving test. Cher and Dionne are cool, popular, well-dressed, clever and attractive--but neither of them can drive for shit.

13. Speaking of driving, don't you totally want an open-top Jeep like Cher's?

14. Clueless also gave an identity to kids with a gift for matchmaking. If you love setting your friends up, duh! - you're obviously the Cher Horowitz of the squad.

15. It made being a nice person, well, cool. Cher can be bratty, but she's never a bitch, and she has the integrity to call out Elton for being "a snob and a half" when he rejects Tai because she's less well-connected than him. Compared to classic teen films that came before and after, Heathers and Mean Girls for example, Clueless is actually surprisingly gentle and sweet-natured.

16. It gave British viewers an early glimpse of what was then an incredibly exotic US coffee chain. Cher is seen clutching a Starbucks cup several times in Clueless - three years before the Seattle giant opened its first UK store.

17. It introduced us to Brittany Murphy, who did great work in 8 Mile and Sin City before passing away at the tragically young age of 32, and Paul Rudd, who's now starring in huge superhero movie Ant-Man.

18. It also gave us the divine Alicia Silverstone. So what if her career never scaled the same heights again? Her ridiculously charming performance as Cher is iconic.

19. It's still the wittiest teen flick ever. Here's just one classic Cher line: "Dionne and I were both named after famous singers of the past, who now do infomercials."

20. Clueless remains such an indelible part of pop culture that Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX felt able to recreate it pretty faithfully for last summer's Fancy video. When Heckerling's film came out, the two stars were aged five and two respectively.

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