16 Jokes & References in 'Clueless' I Definitely Didn't Get 20 Years Ago
When Clueless premiered in 1995, I was just eight years-old. Though I was more than a bit young for the film's humor I, like everyone else in my generation, was completely obsessed with the movie. It was bright, pink, plaid, and totally hilarious. It was also full of totally cute guys who were in no doubt responsible for the sexual awakening of most millenials. Clueless is nothing short of a modern classic. In the mid '90s, it completely took over pop culture inspiring a whole new language, fashion trends, and making movie stars out of an otherwise uknown cast. We can thank Clueless for a lot of things, but mostly for introducing us to the holy trinity that is Cher, Dionne, and Tai.
The world Clueless created is as important to the film as its story. Perhaps more than the fashion, the lingo from Clueless is what made it such a zeitgeist. The way the characters talked in the movie became the way teenagers all around America started to talk. As highly quotable as the film is, there's plenty from the script that went well over my head when the film was first released. There were a lot of jokes and references that didn't make much sense to eight year old.
Here are all of the things I totally missed 20 years ago:
So that means having sex in a car. Nope, definitely didn't get that when I was eight.
2. "Surfing the Crimson Wave"
This became useful four years later when I got my period for the first time.
3. "Hymenally Challenged"
This was well before I ever had a sex ed class, so this too flew right over my head in 1995.
4. The World's Longest Phrase for "Homosexual Man"
Well as an eight year old, I really didn't know what Murray was saying.
5. "Chin Pubes"
Again, before puberty and sex ed.
6. "Suck and Blow"
Well it made perfect sense, you suck on the paper and then you blow it... oh... oh now I see where this is going
7. This Below-The-Belt Joke
I use the comeback, "Well there goes your social life" constantly nowadays, but in 1995, I wasn't totally aware of the innuendo of this zinger.
8. "I Could Really Use Some Sort of Herbal Refreshment."
I was with Cher on this and just though Tai meant tea. Which leads me to...
9. "No Shit. You Guys Got Coke Here?"
I thought it was really funny that Tai was so impressed by Coca Cola.
10. This Totally Clueless Moment
I'll be honest, I didn't learn about Billie Holiday until middle school, so yeah, I was a little clueless on this joke too.
11. This Awkward Pause
You know, just like straight up good friends... ohhhh Cher and Dionne thought she meant sexuality-wise. Right on, right on.
12. This TV Reference
Only now can I truly appreciate the brilliance of this script.
13. "You Suffering From Buyers Remorse or Something?"
It wasn't until my teen years, when at the mall I bought something, felt bad about it, and a friend asked me this very same question that I finally understood that line completely.
14. Travis's Bong
Noooooope, didn't know what that was yet.
15. "Anything You Can Do to Draw Attention to Your Mouth is Good."
Eight year old me: Because they'll think of kissing, right? 28 year old me: Ohhhh, fellatio.
16. Surprisingly Not a Dirty Reference: "In On the Heavy Clam Bakes"
That just means you know what's up. I didn't get that either the first time around because it's a very ornate phrase and I was in elementary school.