When Cher from Clueless first graced the silver screen in 1995, played by Alicia Silverstone, she quickly became one of the most memorable teen heroines of all time. In addition to gifting the world with some pretty iconic catchphrases, Cher from Clueless also introduced us to some amazing fashion moments — yellow plaid, anyone? — courtesy of the most popular girl at Bronson Alcott High School.
Cher lives a pretty luxurious life filled with endless pool parties and makeovers. She also reaps the benefits of an in-house masseuse, and has a high-tech closet filled with a complete designer wardrobe at her disposal. To that end, you’re probably wondering, “Is this a Noxzema commercial or what?”
Cher from Clueless is arguably just as popular now as she was when she rose to the top in the ’90s, although we don’t hear about Alicia Silverstone anymore. However, though there’s never a piece out of place when it comes to Cher’s outfits, there are a few details in the movie you only notice as an adult. Here are some things you might have missed about Cher from the famous film Clueless.
Cher from Clueless actually wears a lot of clothes from thrift stores
While Cher from Clueless wouldn’t be caught dead wearing knock-offs of any kind, her behind-the-scenes wardrobe tells a very different story. Unlike Cher’s bank account, Clueless didn’t have the biggest budget and was filmed before PR was really a thing. “There was no one sending us clothes,” costume designer Mona May explained to E! News. With 60 costume changes for Cher alone (via Refinery29), May was forced to improvise, so she ended up purchasing some of Cher’s wardrobe from various thrift stores. As if!
However, we all know that Cher from Clueless would rather lose her life than mess up a designer dress. So even while the budget was tight, it was important that a real Alaïa dress was what Cher was wearing during that infamous mugging scene. May just had to find a way to borrow one — and make it fit. “We had to make sure that we can alter the dress to fit Alicia [Silverstone],” she continued. “And it was going to be on the ground, so if it ever snags, can we return it?” Too bad Cher couldn’t spring for it!
For how rich Cher from Clueless is, she still attends public school
When we first meet Cher from Clueless, we are shown her “way normal life for a teenage girl” (in her words, not ours). She wakes up every morning in her mansion in Beverly Hills, uses a computer to put together the perfect outfit, and jumps in her Jeep to head to school. But with all of the wealth that her family seems to enjoy, it’s quite surprising that Cher still attends a public school.
In the film’s trailer, Cher is shown giving a speech in class at Beverly Hills High School. That’s where Amy Heckerling, the writer/director of Clueless, sat in on classes to get major inspo for her script (via Bust). “I didn’t go to a regular high school,” Heckerling told the Daily News. “I went to the High School of Art and Design in New York.” Given how different her high school experience was, Heckling was super grateful she could see what Cher’s day would look like.
Weirdly enough, after being referred to as Beverly Hills High School in the trailer, the campus is then called Bronson Alcott High School in the movie (via Glamour) — maybe to make it sound more astute?
Cher from Clueless seems to have two different last names
It turns out that Cher from Clueless may be hiding something more than her initial poor grades throughout most of the film. When her much more favorable marks are revealed to her father at the movie’s halfway point, many of us were quick to take a double take. That’s because, if you look closely, the last name inscribed at the top of her report card reads Hamilton instead of Horowitz. What exactly is the deal with this?
Though the director of Clueless, Amy Heckerling, has never publicly commented on the mistake, there may just be an explanation. It turns out, the iconic teen film was made just a little over a decade after another famous Heckerling film called Fast Times at Ridgemont High (check out what the Fast Times cast looks like today!). As sort of an homage to her previous leading lady, Stacy Hamilton, many believe that the name was sneaked into Clueless for fans to follow (via Thought Catalog). Whatever the case may be, we’re still totally buggin’.
Cher from Clueless says she doesn't drink coffee, but apparently she loves Starbucks
Before Mr. Hall and Miss Geist decide to get hitched, Cher from Clueless gets the pair to share a pretty popular beverage: coffee. Instead of bringing to school her usual lemon Snapple – which is so ’90s — Cher accidentally grabs her father’s “sucky Italian roast.” When she gives it to Mr. Hall, Cher tells him she won’t drink it because, “It might stunt my growth. I want to be 5’10’ like Cindy Crawford.” However, for as smart as her debate teacher seems to be, we guess he never noticed that Cher frequently brings a Starbucks cup with her to his class.
You may think, sure, Starbucks does sell beverages of all sorts in addition to coffee, like tea. However, it wasn’t until three years after Clueless was released in 1995 that the famous coffee company acquired Tazo tea (via Starbucks). Even later, Cher admits to Tai in the midst of their argument that she’d done something very bad: she drank two mochaccinos before chatting with her.
Something tells us this caffeine queen never grew up to be 5’10” like Cindy Crawford, who’s undergone a stunning transformation.
The address to Cher's home in Beverly Hills in Clueless is real
As if Cher’s report card wasn’t revealing enough, right before her father takes a look at it, anybody watching Clueless can clearly see the address of their mansion typed out in the corner. It turns out that 901 Drury Lane in Beverly Hills is actually a real address. However, before you decide to drive by it or look it up on Google Maps, you’ll probably be disappointed to know that you won’t actually see the mansion there. The classic house with the columns that date all the way back to 1972 is actually located somewhere else in Los Angeles. Ugh, it’s in the Valley!
With the film’s small budget, it’s no wonder that the producers didn’t rent out a mansion in Beverly Hills. We can only imagine how much that would cost! Yet, we can also imagine how embarrassed Cher would feel if anybody found out. As Josh tells her early on in the movie, “You get upset if someone thinks you live below Sunset.”
For getting bad grades, Cher from Clueless sure knows a lot about art and literature
For someone who has to fight to raise her grades each semester, Cher from Clueless sure does know a lot about art and literature. “I didn’t want [Cher] to be not intelligent,” director Amy Heckerling told Vice. “I wanted her to just not know what she didn’t know yet.”
For starters, Cher corrects Josh’s female friend who accompanies him on a car ride. When the duo pick up Cher — shortly after Elton abandons her in a random parking lot in Sun Valley — Cher realizes that Josh’s friend has misquoted Hamlet. Luckily, Mel Gibson starred in the famous role in 1990, so Cher was on top of it. Also, Cher is the one who taught us all what a “full-on Monet” is when Tai was upset watching another woman dance with Elton. “It’s like a painting, see?” she explains to her distraught friend. “From far away, it’s okay, but up close, it’s a big old mess.”
Interestingly enough, Clueless is also based off of the classic Jane Austen novel from 1815 entitled Emma, so it should really be no surprise that Cher received an A in Mr. Grossman’s English class.
Cher from Clueless mispronounces "Haitians" in front of her debate class
Many viewers were surprised the first time they saw Cher from Clueless in debate class, after she dropped a knowledge bomb as to why refugees from Haiti should be able to seek shelter in the U.S. “May I please remind you that it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty,” she proclaimed, prompting applause from her classmates.
Blink and you miss it, but Alicia Silverstone surprised the crew with her mispronunciation of “Haitians” just prior. It turns out that the gaffe wasn’t even a part of the script; Silverstone had simply made a mistake. When the script coordinator tried to correct her on set, director Amy Heckerling was quick to stop them. “I didn’t want her to know that she had it wrong,” she explained to Vogue. “I wanted that assurance without her thinking this is funny or a joke — which changes how you say things. There’s something you do when you’re completely confident that just can’t be replicated when you know you’re doing something wrong.”
In the words of her debate partner Amber, “Whatever!” It made it into the final cut of the film.
The way Cher from Clueless speaks is not normal for a '90s teen girl
Clueless may help viewers jump into the mind of a rich teenage girl. However, for anyone looking to understand hip ’90s lingo, Cher’s language doesn’t quite fit the bill. In fact, her slang is a compilation of words that the writer of the film made up.
As Tai says, “Wow! You guys talk like grown-ups,” and she’s not necessarily wrong. Director Amy Heckerling had always been fascinated with how different people use different kinds of vocabulary, so while researching for the script, she created a list of sayings that she liked to create Cher’s own unique lingo. “[Slang] exists in any group of outcasts, whether Cockneys, in prison or a girls’ school,” she explained to Roger Ebert. “They always have their own separate stuff.”
In the end, Herkerling’s famous film gave us some seriously iconic quotes, as the dialogue she created completely stood out. At one point, Cher even admits to Josh that she doesn’t know exactly what she’s saying sometimes — but what’s most important is her retort: “Does it sound like I do?”
For being so popular, Cher from Clueless only has one close friend
Cher from Clueless is the most popular girl in school, along with her stylish BFF Dionne. “She’s my friend because we both know what it’s like to have people be jealous of us,” she explains. However, it seems odd that someone so popular has such a tight group of trusted female friends, and by tight group, we mean only two people.
When Tai comes along, Cher takes it upon herself to help the new girl acclimate to her new school. When you think about it, though, it’s strange that someone so popular doesn’t seem to have a larger entourage. She also doesn’t seem to care what other popular people think of her, especially Amber, to whom she constantly talks trash.
Someone as well-liked as Cher should be rollin’ with the homies, but perhaps her popularity exists more in her head than in reality. After all, she does end up with a book nerd at the end of the movie.
In Clueless, Cher's dad seems to make up for lost time with her by buying her expensive things
We hardly ever see Cher’s father in Clueless spending any serious time with his daughter. He’s much too busy being a litigator — the scariest kind of lawyer — who makes $500 each hour and is pretty clueless when it comes to Cher’s life. To make up for it, however, he seems to just open up his wallet. How else could a 16-year-old girl possibly have her own car, an in-house masseuse, a designer wardrobe, and a cell phone in the ’90s? Perhaps Cher’s father just feels bad since he can’t spend much time with her, especially since Cher’s mother isn’t around, so he spends his money instead.
Regardless, it does seem like Cher tries to fight for her father’s attention throughout the film, even volunteering to help him work on some of his cases. After all, what 16 year old would do that if she didn’t have an ulterior motive? Because of this, the daddy-daughter duo does steal some scenes together, but ultimately, Cher is usually on her own in the house — besides the maid, of course.
Cher's character in Clueless is a mix of Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball
While Cher from Clueless says was named after a great singer of the past who now does infomercials, this wealthy Beverly Hills teen acts nothing like the legendary pop star. Instead, her character from Clueless was intended to be a combination of some other famous actresses, according to actress Alicia Silverstone. “I thought I was channeling Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball, and obviously that wasn’t the case,” she admitted at the L.A. Film Festival in 2014 (via Parade). “But I just felt like that!”
While we see the class and elegance of Monroe in Cher’s character, as well as the humor that Ball’s influence brings — especially when Cher knocks down all the other single ladies during Miss Geist’s bouquet toss — channeling the original Cher herself would have been pretty something else entirely. We suppose Silverstone will have to save that for a Clueless reboot. We will be waiting on a Clueless 2!
Cher from Clueless receives a C in debate class, but she's great at negotiating
Cher from Clueless is willing to fight for her grades — maybe not by actually doing the homework, but by using her powers of persuasion to sway her teachers. As her father always says, “Never accept a first offer,” so, really, these grades are just a jumping off point to start negotiations.
When Cher finds out that Mr. Hall had given her a C in his debate class, she wasn’t willing to accept it. Ironically, however, he was the only teacher who wouldn’t budge on her grade, which makes you wonder: if Cher is so good at bargaining for higher marks every semester, how could she possibly get a low grade in an actual debate class?
Mr. Hall is probably great at disputes considering it’s his speciality, but for a young girl who spends so much time helping out her father — who makes a pretty penny from arguing against people — it just doesn’t make much sense. “Unprepared, Undisciplined” is Mr. Hall’s exact comment on her report card, so perhaps the C was for other reasons? It has us going completely postal!
All of the clothes hangers in Cher's incredible closet in Clueless are gold-accented
Director Amy Heckerling knew exactly how to bring Cher’s incredible closet to life in Clueless. She even knew people who had closets just like the one that we see in the film. Between a computer that helps her choose the perfect look to a revolving closet with designer pieces on display, the crew made Cher a wardrobe that we all dream of. However, here’s something you may never have noticed: with each designer piece being seriously valuable, Cher’s closet wouldn’t be complete without gold-accented hangers to show off each glorious outfit.
Fashion plays a big role in Clueless, so it makes sense that the clothing needs its big moment too. To put each piece on display, Heckerling instructed her staff to make Cher’s closet look like a dry cleaning store. It was so big that “Cher’s closet was built inside of the pool house at the home,” production designer Steven Jordan explained to Nylon. “The bedroom was actually the living room of that house.”
Now we understand how Cher easily lost her white collarless shirt from Fred Segal.
Though we love Cher's love story in Clueless, her kiss with Josh is controversial
While viewers were waiting patiently for Cher’s special someone to materialize in Clueless, shockingly enough, it happens to be Josh. It may be surprising that a book nerd becomes her boyfriend, but what is even more shocking to some is the fact that he was once her step-brother.
In fact, this relationship alone is what made Fox audi. They were the first studio that obtained rights to the film before dropping it altogether. “It’s like, [Cher and Josh are] not related,” director Amy Heckerling explained in an interview with Vice. “Their parents were briefly married and [Cher’s] father is still nice to [Josh]. That’s not verboten, you know?” Luckily, the Clueless that we know and love today was finally made by Paramount Pictures in 1995.
Cher and Josh may not have an explicitly forbidden love, but the idea still freaked a few fans out. After all, following their first kiss – maybe one of the best first kisses in movie history – Cher even states, “I am only 16, and this is California, not Kentucky!”
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