Bus Drivers: The Secret Villains of ‘Mean Girls’
Mean Girls co-star Jonathan Bennett has reportedly married actor Jaymes Vaughan in Mexico, reminding us, not just of the power of love, but of how much people still love the 2004 comedy featuring Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams (in the rare role that doesn’t require her to hook up with a time-traveler).
But the love fest brings up an issue that has gone unchecked for too long: Who is the villain of Mean Girls? One could argue that it’s Regina George. Or hormone-fueled teenage toxicity in general. But here’s a thought: something’s up with the school bus drivers at North Shore High. Memorably, Regina gets taken out, and nearly killed, by a speeding school bus at the end of the movie.
First of all, why would a school bus, or any vehicle for that matter, be going that fast in a school zone? Barring the revelation that the school had to hire Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves that day, this seems flat-out negligent, and likely even criminal. And this wasn’t the only bus-related incident in the movie; early on Cady is nearly leveled by a similarly speeding school bus – which serves as both narrative foreshadowing, and evidence that this school’s bus drivers are Mad Max-esque maniacs who clearly don’t give a crap about the safety of students. Kids even use being “hit by a big yellow school bus” as their go-to analogy, presumably because this threat has become so commonplace for these needlessly endangered students.
Weirdly, this was a bit of a trend in pop culture back then. First, there was 2000’s Final Destination which also imagined a world in which bus drivers are seemingly allergic to brakes.
Even Lost found time between smoke monsters and polar bears to include a scene where a character gets randomly smoked by a city bus.
Maybe one day we’ll find out that a lone Hollywood executive was cut off by a bus in traffic and subsequently wielded all of their early 2000s influence in an effort to ruin the reputation of the entire profession as payback.
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Top Image: Paramount Pictures