"This is high school. What is a friend, anyway?"—Vylette
The movie starts with the popular girls of Reagan High fake-kidnapping one of their group, Liz Purr, as part of her seventeenth birthday, only to find when they arrive that she has choked to death on the jawbreaker used to gag her. Alpha Bitch Courtney Shayne then leads the others to create an elaborate cover story that would paint Liz's death as an accident resulting from a kinky sexual encounter and get them off scot-free.
One of the girls, Julie Freeman, struggles to come to terms with what they've done and is summarily shunned by Courtney and her lapdog Marcie Fox. On top of this, she is replaced by the geeky Fern Mayo who Courtney transforms into the glamourous Vylette in return for the girl's silence. But the attention lavished upon "Vylette" soon goes to Fern's head and she begins to encroach on Courtney's position as Queen Bee, only to discover exactly why that's a bad idea as she is publicly humiliated. Meanwhile, when Julie is given a box of Liz's possessions, she stumbles upon something that will prove to be Courtney's downfall just as she prepares to accept the title of Prom Queen that Liz's death left her free to claim.
- Alpha Bitch: Courtney.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Before Liz's death, the three most popular girls fit this trope.
- Courtney: Brunette.
- Marcie: Blonde.
- Julie: Redhead.
- Brainless Beauty: Marcie.
- Deadly Prank: The premise of the film.
- Dawson Casting: The four female main characters were well in their twenties when the film was released
- Intentionally done by the Director as an homage to films like Grease and Carrie where teens are played by actors who are clearly far too old.
- Death by Sex: Courtney tries to set up Liz's death as such.
- Dumb Blonde: Marcie fits this to a T, being very much on The Ditz end of the scale.
- Engineered Public Confession: The ending.
- Erotic Eating: Courtney with her boyfriend, in a variant; as part of sex play, she makes him mime on a popsicle what he wants her to do to him.
- Foot Focus: During a Split-Screen Phone Call we get an eyeful of Julie's soles, then Fern's, then Courtney's (with Courtney's self-pedicure-in-progress filling almost the entire shot).
- Girl Posse
- High School Dance: The final location of the movie.
- Humiliation Conga: Happens at the High School Dance thanks to the Engineered Public Confession.
- In with the In Crowd: Fern and Julie both apply. Marcie's talk with her father implies that this is also what happened to her.
- Les Yay: Fern seemed to have really, really admired Liz.
- The Makeover: Fern's transformation into Vylette.
- Make Way for the Princess: Or princesses, in this case.
- Meaningful Echo: By Fern, see the page quote.
- Meaningful Name: Fern. Lampshaded when she is renamed Vylett for this very reason.
- Narrator All Along: Fern, although it's not a huge surprise when you pay the slightest bit of attention in the first scene.
- The Nineties
- Token Good Teammate: Liz among her friends, although Julie slowly makes a Heel Face Turn throughout the movie.
- Two-Teacher School
- Popular Is Dumb: Marcie.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Marcie abandons Courtney in the end.
- Sex Is Evil: Liz was a virgin. Courtney -- not so much.
- Smoking Is Glamorous: Fern starts to smoke after "becoming" Vylett.
- Shrinking Violet: Fern, originally.
- The Sociopath: Courtney.
- Trunk Shot: When the girls want to surprise Liz in one of the first scenes of the movie.
- Villain Protagonist: Courtney.