Much like Maya Hawke’s Eleanor in Do Revenge, we, too, are disciples of the '90s teen movie. So, it isn’t quite a surprise that we’re eagle-eyed in spotting an easter egg (or two) in the Netflix film.
If you, at some point while watching it, whispered “Hey, I think I’ve seen that before!” to yourself, don’t fret, that déjà vu is a common side-effect. As the latest descendant of this glorious '90s genre, director-writer Jennifer Kaytin Robinson drew a large chunk of inspiration from what came before it, even calling it a “wink” and “camp” movie-fied.
But if you want some confirmation, here’s your answer—she recently confirmed the references sprinkled throughout the film with Netflix’s TUDUM. Below, we break down the easter eggs that the most devout teen movie fans will definitely spot.
Here are the teen movie references you can spot in Do Revenge:
One word: plaid! Rosehill Country Day’s pastel uniforms feel like they’re straight out of Cher’s computer closet, and it’s intentional. However, while it’s definitely one of the film’s costume inspo, Jennifer also says that she took a page out of Japanese schools’ (hand)book, which she later presented to costume designer Alana Morshead.
“There were all of these really beautiful pastel plaid uniforms that are all over Pinterest that are very popular, I believe, in Japan,” she tells Netflix. “When you think of private school and when you think of uniforms, you think East Coast stuffy. And knowing this was [set in] Miami, it was like everything had to be color, color, color.”
Other than that, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it references are hidden in the set design itself. One of the school’s buildings is called the Horowitz hall—named after Cher, of course!—but that’s not all. According to the director, several signs on the campus were actually named after different characters!
Hear that voice-over from Drea and Eleanor? It’s actually a nod to the Matthew Broderick- and Reese Witherspoon-starring high school political satire Election! In the 1999 film, voice-overs are used as a narrative device to show multiple points of view, whether they’re true or not. In Do Revenge, characters’ narrations are used in the grand reveal of their true intentions. (But we won’t spoil you that much.)
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)
While the creators weren’t directly inspired by it, the 1997 flick with Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow had a spot on the film’s vision board, with the creators citing its “visual language” and “the vibes for the costume.” Even Drea and Eleanor’s party entrance reminded people of it!
Scream might be a slasher film, but it’s also a teen movie, nonetheless! The resident hangout spot of Rosehill’s royalty is the campus fountain, which was inspired by the horror flick’s similar centerpiece. In fact, the creators were so determined to have it that they had the fountain custom-made!
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
When it comes to more lovey-dovey scenes, teen movies are the blueprint—and nothing says romance more than a painting date. Do Revenge, for instance, displays this with a very 10 Things I Hate About You-esque scene, when Drea and Russ (Rish Shah) share a heated kiss at his family’s art studio as they mess around with paint. Heath Ledger’s Patrick Verona and Julia Stiles’ Kat Stratford, on the other hand, shared their first kiss in a field during a paintball date. Robertson even had the blessing of 10 Things writer Kiwi Smith to add it in!
Meanwhile, if you saw giant canvases and paint and thought of that mom-and-daughter scene in Princess Diaries, that was an unintentional choice–but Jennifer acknowledges it now.
For fans of 1999’s Jawbreaker, they may have seen the Eleanor archetype once with Judy Greer’s Fern Mayo. Like Maya Hawk’s character, Fern is a nerdy gal who morphs into the resident It Girl Vylette. You can even spot the reference with Eleanor’s post-makeover platinum blonde 'do.
John Tucker Must Die (2006)
Like the mid-aughts movie, Do Revenge is, obviously, all about sweet, ice-cold revenge. While John Tucker Must Die had playboy John Tucker as its target, the 2022 version has Austin Abrams’ Max. In the older film, John’s three ex-girlfriends hatch a plan to get their vengeance by roping in the new girl to charm him into falling in love with her, then eventually breaking his heart. Although a bit different, Drea pulls in Eleanor to enact the same sort of revenge plan on Max. And as expected, he was charmed.
Mean Girls (2004)
Ah, Mean Girls, where do we start? The creators poured the 2004 cult classic’s energy into the backbone of the Netflix film, like Drea being the Regina George-slash-Janis Ian to Eleanor’s Cady Heron.
You can also peek at the influences in specific scenes. At the start of Do Revenge, Gabbi introduces new girl Eleanor to the campus by pointing out the designated school cliques. While Mean Girls’ North Shore High had the Burnouts and the Art Freaks, Rosehill has the Gen Z spin “Instagram Witches.”
The much-GIFed moment of Regina George watching the hallways erupt in chaos after scattering the Burn Book’s contents also had its starring moment. This is seen when Drea and Eleanor leaked Max’s incriminating texts to the girls on campus, revealing his serial cheating. But in a clever—and unfortunate—PR move, he flipped the narrative to get on his good side, causing the dissatisfied Drea in the hallway instead of the more triumphant Regina.
Also: Remember when Allegra begged her mom to pick her up after the Drea and Eleanor-caused havoc? Well, it’s most likely a callback to Mean Girls’ “Can you pick me up? I’m scared” moment!
Croquet is the hottest activity for both the Heathers and Rosehill students–at least, for one scene. The Heathers’ pastime of choice is the mallet-equipped sport. In the Do Revenge universe, Drea sees Eleanor’s nemesis Carissa at the rehab center playing, yup, croquet. But this time, it’s now with Rosehill-appropriate pastel-colored mallets.
Cruel Intentions (1999)
The characters of Do Revenge definitely had cruel intentions, much like the titular film of 1999. In one scene, Gabbi is seen reading a copy of Les Liaisons dangereuses, the French novel Cruel Intentions was adapted from. Both movies have revenge plans, subsequent betrayals between friends, and, well, Sarah Michelle Gellar!
The actress, who played Kathryn in the '90s movie, now stars as Rosehill’s headmaster. Sarah even said that she would’ve begged to play one of the leads if she was still 19!
To cap it off, Do Revenge ends the film with another nod, as Drea and Eleanor drive off in a convertible into the figurative sunset—just like how Annette and Sebastian did it. A fitting ending, if you ask me!
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