Ten years ago today, Mean Girls hit theaters and, within a few months of its release, proved that child star Lindsay Lohan could establish a post-Disney career (how said career would turn out is, of course, a different story). It also demonstrated that its screenwriter, Tina Fey, had a singular comic voice that wasn’t confined to her SNL “Weekend Update” desk and gave audiences an introductory glance at future stars Rachel MacAdams, Amanda Seyfried and Lizzy Caplan.
But above all, Mean Girls reminded us that movies about teen girls aren’t always just for teen girls — you don’t have to be wrestling with adolescence, peer pressure or who you’re going to the prom with to appreciate the wit and wisdom that a great femalecentric teen flick has to offer. The anthropological breakdowns of clique mentalities and class struggles, the damage done by trash-talking (and this was before Twitter, people), the way someone who doesn’t conform to the norm becomes a social pariah: all of the things that Mean Girls satirized and shined a light on don’t go away once you get a diploma or turn 20.
So, in honor of the film’s aluminum anniversary, we’ve singled out Mean Girls‘ peers in teen-girl filmdom and picked out the 10 best. These are movies which say something about being a young woman and give us heroines who can delight you, make you laugh, break your heart and/or scare the living crap out of you no matter how young or old you are.