Which original Mean Girls star makes a surprise cameo in the new movie?

And what did Tina Fey have to say about the film’s missing Plastics?
Which Original Mean Girls Star Makes a Surprise Cameo in the New Movie
Entertainment Pictures / Alamy Stock Photo

Don’t get burned — this post contains spoilers for 2024’s Mean Girls.

While marketing the new Mean Girls movie, Paramount has seemingly tried to shield the film’s musical DNA, instead leaning into nostalgia for the 2004 film. But there was one major nod to the first movie that they’ve managed to keep top secret: an appearance from its original leading lady, Lindsay Lohan.

But first, let’s set the scene. Mean Girls 2.0 is directed by Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr. and adapted from the Tony-nominated Mean Girls Broadway musical, with a book by Tina Fey, lyrics by Nell Benjamin, and music by Fey’s husband, Jeff Richmond.

In the new Mean Girls cast, Angourie Rice is Cady to Reneé Rapp’s Regina George, a role that Rapp also played on Broadway. Their battle catches the attention of a few real-life influencers as well as Megan Thee Stallion, whose song with Rapp, Not My Fault, plays over the film’s end credits.

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In addition to the word-for-word recreations of some famous scenes, there are plenty of other cheeky nods to the original Mean Girls and its pop cultural legacy. Gretchen (Bebe Wood) insists that she’s trying to make “fetch” happen because it’s “a line from an old movie.” During the Plastics’ NSFS talent show performance, Damian(Jaquel Spivey) says “Thank you, next” — a reference to Ariana Grande recreating the scene in her 2018 music video.

There’s also the genuinely sweet reveal that math teacher Ms. Norbury and Principal Duvall, roles reprised by Fey and Tim Meadows respectively, are now married after tentatively flirting in the 2004 version.

It’s not until the film is almost over, though, that we see Lohan. Her cameo may have been teased by her appearance at the film’s New York premiere, where she walked the pink carpet alongside Rice and a few other OG cast members like Daniel Franzese.

Lindsay Lohan at thew New York premiere of ‘Mean Girls.’John Lamparski

In a moment that inspired spontaneous cheering in my cinema, Lohan appears as the unnamed judge presiding over the film’s climactic mathlete competition. You know the one — where Cady realises that the limit does not exist. When North Shore and competing school Marymount tie, Lohan slyly declares, “Well, this has only ever happened once before.”

As in the original film, Cady goes up against Marymount student Caroline Krafft for a tie-breaking question. When Cady asks aloud, “Why can’t I remember limits?” Lohan’s judge quips, “Honey, I don’t know your life.” After an increasingly evolved Cady tells her opposition, “This isn’t a competition,” Lohan helpfully interjects: “It kind of is, though.” Then the original Cady is gone, but not before crowning North Shore the new state champs.

After Lohan’s triumphant return to acting in 2022’s Netflix romantic comedy Falling for Christmas, she reunited with her Mean Girls costars for a Walmart commercial last year featuring Lacey Chabert, and Amanda Seyfried.(Rachel McAdams reportedly declined the gig.)

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In February of last year, it was reported that all of the Plastics were considering appearances in the musical movie, but couldn’t reach an agreement about pay. Page Six reported that negotiations with Lohan, Chabert, Seyfried, and McAdams stalled due to a “disrespectful” salary offer. (Representatives for Fey, Lohan, Chabert, Seyfried, McAdams, and Paramount+ did not respond to Vanity Fair’s request for comment at the time.)

It appears that Lohan, who once yearned to play Regina and next stars in Netflix’s Irish Wish, out 15 March, was the only original cast member to reach a deal before cameras rolled.

When asked what the other Plastics’ roles would’ve been in the new film, Fey told The New York Times, “We’ll never know. They’re busy people, so it didn’t come together, but we tried, and we all love each other.”

This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.