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Why Mean Girls' Jingle Bell Rock dance had to be changed during filming

Why Mean Girls' Jingle Bell Rock dance had to be changed during filming

There was a reason why they couldn't stick to the original moves.

There’s no second guessing here when we say that Mean Girls might just be one of the most successful teen comedies to come out of the early 2000s.

I mean, the film’s one-liners like ‘Is butter a carb?’ and ‘You go Glen Coco!’ pretty much live rent-free in our heads, while Lindsay Lohan single-handedly contributed to ‘October 3rd’ essentially becoming a celebrated holiday for millennials. If you know, you know.

But one iconic - albeit chaotic - scene from the movie sees The Plastics engaging in their annual tradition of performing to Jingle Bell Rock.

The dance gained so much traction that even Ariana Grande re-created the scene during her music video of 'thank u, next'. Only, the original dance was considered too sexy to be included in the movie.

The Mean Girls director Mark Waters previously explained how the team conjured up the choreography for the dance which had all our teenage selves attempting to learn the moves along with Cady Heron (Lohan), Regina George (Rachel McAdams), Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried) and Gretchen Weiners (Lacey Chabert).

For their performance at the Winter Talent Show, the choreographers intended their moves to be even more promiscuous than they already were - remember the reaction of Cady’s dad when The Plastics slapped their thighs during the dance?!

The dance is iconic.
Paramount Movies

In an interview with EW, the director explained that the scene was described in the script as including ‘sexually embarrassing dance moves’.

He said: “The moment written in the script but we couldn’t figure out how to do was ‘They do some sexually embarrassing dance move’.

“It was a lot of effort coming up with, ‘How do we do that?'”

And the first result was some moves which were a little more X-rated than the director wanted to include in the movie.

“They were going to turn and stick their posteriors up in the air,” Waters explained. “And then they showed it to me, and I was like, ‘Whoa, that’s too much! Go with something else.'”

Ariana Grande even re-created the scene in her music video for 'thank u, next'.
Ariana Grande / YouTube

We’re all for female empowerment, but bear in mind that the actors were all playing high school students in the film, while Lohan was still a ‘minor’ while shooting for the movie, according to Waters.

“Because Lindsay was a minor at the time we actually had a real struggle finding time to choreograph the thing,” he explained.

Instead, the dance was changed to include the now-infamous ‘thigh slap’ move to get around any parameters.

Lindsay Lohan was still a minor at the time of filming.
Paramount Movies

“That’s how we got this idea of, ‘Let’s do this stripper thigh slap simultaneously,’ and it just germinated out of the rehearsals organically, which ended up being the funniest part of the scene,” Waters said.

Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to try our hand at learning the dance... After all, it's Christmas!

Featured Image Credit: Featured Image Credit: Paramount Movies

Topics: Mean Girls, TV And Film, Christmas