In conclusion may I please remind you it does not say RSVP on the Statue of Liberty.
Cher speaks the above line during her classroom debate on the Haitian refugee crisis to bolster her point that the United States should allow refugees into the US. In her debate, she vapidly makes a parallel between a dinner party she threw for her father's 50th birthday and the refugee crisis, comparing access to the United States to RSVPing for a party. In saying that the Statue of Liberty, a sign of freedom, does not ask for an RSVP, Cher suggests that government officials should let refugees into the country. The line highlights Cher's girlish ignorance and perception of global events through the lens of high school social politics. She speaks about a refugee crisis as though she is organizing prom, and her adolescent enthusiasm elicits the cheers and support of her classmates.
No, she's a fulll-on Monet. It's like a painting, see? From far away, it's OK, but up close, it's a big old mess.
Cher speaks the above lines to Tai, as she describes her nemesis, Amber. When Tai sees Elton dancing with Amber instead of her at the party, Tai becomes insecure and asks Cher whether she finds Amber pretty. In response, Cher compares Amber to a Monet painting, which, according to Cher, is "okay" from far away, but up close looks like a mess. This is a quintessential Cher Horowitz zinger: at once naive and high-brow. Cher is both dissing a girl with whom she has a running rivalry, and making Tai feel better with this line. The girls share a catty moment that makes them both feel better.
It looks like they just fell out of bed and put on some baggy pants and take their greasy hair and cover it up with a backwards cap and like, we’re expected to swoon?
In the above lines, Cher describes her disapproval of the way boys her age dress. She complains that they dress poorly, wearing loose pants, backwards caps, and sporting greasy hair. She laments that they dress as though they just woke up, but still expect girls to swoon over them. Here we see that Cher hopes for more sophisticated boys than high school can provide. She wants boys to dress well and be respectful and adult, but that none of them are mature enough for her. This quote shows just how picky and particular Cher is, and highlights the 90s fashions shown in the film. Baggy pants, greasy hair, and a generally grungy personal style were popular in the mid-90s when the film was released.
Searching for a boy in high school is as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie.
Here Cher again expresses that boys in high school do not meet her standards. There are no suitable boys in high school, Cher mourns, humorously comparing the task of finding an eligible boyfriend in high school to finding meaning in a Pauly Shore movie. Pauly Shore was a 90s comedian known for making silly comedies without much meaning. In this line, Cher both reveals her picky credentials for dating and makes a topical reference. It is an iconic line from the film, because it is so emblematic of the mid-90s, and so illustrative of the unexpected wit of Cher Horowitz, the film's iconic protagonist.
You’re a virgin who can’t drive.
Tai says this to Cher when Cher tries to discourage her from pursuing Josh. Tai was the new girl at the school, Cher's friend and personal project, and Cher "bettered" Tai by instructing her in how to ascend the social ladder. Believing that Cher thinks she isn't good enough for Josh, Tai gets defensive and lashes out at Cher in the meanest way she can think of, by calling Cher a "virgin who can't drive." Here she alludes to the driving test that Cher has just failed and her lack of sexual experience. Tai hurts Cher by suggesting that even though Cher thinks she has a lot of control over her life, she is still just a helpless kid, with no sexual experience, unable to pass a simple driving test.
Christian: Do you like Billie Holiday?
Cher Horowitz: I love him.
This is yet another quotes that highlights Cher's ignorance in a comedic way. When Christian picks up Cher for their date, he puts on Billie Holiday, a female jazz singer. When he asks Cher if she likes the singer, Cher responds that she loves "him," misgendering the iconic performer. In this quote we realize two things: Christian has sophisticated taste, and Cher will do anything to try to impress him. She reveals herself to have no knowledge of who Billie Holiday is, but she remains blissfully unaware of her own mistake.
Everything I think and everything I do is wrong.
After Tai insults Cher, Cher goes for a walk and laments the fact that everything in her life seems to have fallen apart. This is Cher's moment of redemption, in which she realizes that her plucky presumptuousness has led her astray: she was wrong about Christian and Elton, and now Tai and Josh are both mad at her. As she realizes all the mistakes she has made, she realizes that she is "totally clueless." This moment is a hyperbolic contrast to Cher's normal demeanor. While she is usually so sure of her abilities, here she worries that everything that she thinks and does is wrong.
Josh: Look, I'm just curious. How many hours a day do you spend grooming yourself?
Cher: Some people are not lucky enough to be as naturally adorable as you are.
Josh: Stop it, you're making me blush.
As they watch television on the couch, after Josh has come to stay with the Horowitzes over Spring Break, Cher and Josh flirt on the couch. In this moment, he confronts her about how much she cares about her appearance, and Cher retorts that she is not as "naturally adorable" as he is. While her comment is sarcastic, it also reveals the affection that Cher feels for Josh, and as the duo flirt, we see that there is a spark between them. This exchange hints to the audience about the possibility of a romance between the former step-siblings.
Cher: I'm captain of the Pismo Beach disaster relief.
Mel: I don't think they need your skis.
Cher: Daddy, some people lost all their belongings. Don't you think that includes athletic equipment?
Here is yet another example of Cher's endearing naivety. When she heads the disaster relief efforts for the fictional "Pismo Beach disaster," she empties her closets to donate goods to the victims, but she sometimes picks some inappropriate items. After asking her father if she can donate his red caviar, Cher walks past the room where the lawyers are working on depositions with ski equipment. Skiing is a luxury sport, and it is unlikely that any victims of a disaster are in immediate need of skis. Cher's naive optimism about these inappropriate athletic items shows her lack of self-awareness about her own class position. While she is determined to help people in need, she is notably off the mark when it comes to picking items.
Shit, you guys, I have never had straight friends before!
When Tai arrives at her new school, Cher takes her under her wing as a kind of charitable project. Tai, at this point, is grungy and awkward, much more rough around the edges than Cher and Dionne, who are wealthy and elegant. Expressing her gratefulness for Cher's offer to help her get acclimated at the school, Tai tells the girls that they are her first "straight friends," meaning, they are the first friends she has ever had who weren't into recreational drugs. Cher and Dionne are confused, and a comedic dissonance between Tai's loose druggie inclinations and Cher's uptight preppy-ness occurs.
Clueless Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Clueless is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
The Clueless study guide contains a biography of director Amy Heckerling, quiz questions, major themes, character descriptions, and a full summary and analysis. The movie Clueless is an adaption of the book Emma by Jane Austen and provides a modern update on the social matchmaking of the lead character, Emma (Cher).
Clueless literature essays are academic essays about the movie Clueless provided for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Clueless, directed by Amy Heckerling and adapted from Jane Austen's Emma.