The romcoms of the late 1990s and early 2000s were some of the most iconic and popular films of the day. Movies about high schoolers were all the rage, and people came out in droves to watch movies like "Clueless," "10 Things I Hate About You," and the iconic classic, "Bring It On." This movie gave America cheer fever and has been playing on repeat on various TV channels for almost 20 years.
Released in 2000, this movie is endlessly quotable. From "spirit fingers" to "the loser sneeze," this film about the rivalry between the cheerleading squads of two California high schools has been endlessly referenced in pop culture. It also featured some of Hollywood's biggest stars. It has spawned several direct-to-video sequels over the years, which have next to none of the original cast, and a stage musical that made it briefly to Broadway in 2012. The musical has lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, of "Hamilton" fame.
Do you think you are ready to be captain of the cheer squad? How much do you really know about this film that critic Roger Ebert called "the Citizen Kane of cheerleader movies"? See how much you know about this American teen cheerleading comedy film with this high flying and flexible quiz!
Kirsten Dunst starred in "Bring It On" as head cheerleader Torrance Shipman. Her performance was well reviewed by critics.
The high school in the film is Rancho Carne High School. The film is set in San Diego, California.
Torrence Shipman's boyfriend, Aaron, has already graduated from Rancho Carne High School and gone to college. Even though they are together throughout most of the film, he is not physically or emotionally present for her.
The mascot of Rancho Carne is the Toro. All of the teams from the school are referred to as the Rancho Carne Toros.
After Torrance becomes captain, a cheerleader named Carver breaks her leg and can't compete. The team has to find a replacement.
Missy Pantone is a gymnast who had recently transferred to Rancho Carne High. She is chosen to replace Carver.
Aaron tried to convince Torrance to step down as cheer captain by telling her that she is not "captain material." She throws that in his face when she breaks up with him later in the film.
The rival squad in the film is the East Compton Clovers. They are a Los Angeles team that is incredibly talented, but had been unable to compete in cheer competitions for financial reasons.
Eliza Dushku played edgy gymnast Missy Pantone in "Bring It On." She is better known for her role as Faith in "Buffy The Vampire Slayer."
Big Red was the cheer captain before Torrance. Torrance is her replacement when she graduates from Rancho Carne High School.
Previous Toros captain Big Red sneaked into the Clovers' practices and stole all of their routines for competitions. This is why the Clovers hate the Toros.
Choreographer Sparky Polastri has many iconic lines in "Bring It On." He is dismissive of cheerleading and insults the entire squad.
Gabrielle Union played Isis, the cheer captain of the East Compton Clovers. This was her breakthrough role.
Cliff and Missy Pantone are twin siblings who transfer from Los Angeles to Rancho Carne High School in San Diego. Missy becomes Torrance's best friend and Cliff and Torrance develop a romantic attraction.
Torrance tells the team and they vote on whether they want to keep the old routines or create new ones. Even though she is in favor of creating new material, she is initially outvoted by the rest of the team.
At the suggestion of Aaron, Torrance's boyfriend, they hire choreographer Sparky Polastri to teach them a new routine for competition. Unfortunately, he taught the exact same routine to several schools around California, which humiliated the team at competition.
After being humiliated with a duplicate routine at regionals, Torrance considers quitting cheerleading. Cliff is supportive of her and tells her to keep at it, which deepens their attraction.
Courtney and Whitney are Torrance's catty squad rivals. They have quite a few iconic lines.
When Torrance goes to her boyfriend, Aaron, for support, he tells her that she is cute, but might not be "captain" material. He suggests that she give up and hands the squad over to other cheerleaders.
At cheer camp, they have superstitions regarding the spirit stick. Whoever drops it goes to hell and is cursed. Torrance dropped it by accident.
The Rancho Carne Toros weae red, black, and white uniforms. These are their school colors.
Cliff plays guitar. He is a fan of punk bands, like The Clash, and introduces Torrance to them.
Torrance breaks up with Aaron because he is unsupportive, and because he cheated on her. He also attempted to get her to quit being cheer captain so the position could go to her squad rivals.
The Clovers appeal to the host of a talk show who grew up in their area to get the money to compete. While Torrance offers them the money to try tomake amends, The Clovers turn it down.
"Bring It On" was released in 2000. It was a summer release, on August 25.
Torrance has a crisis after she finds out that all of her team's cheers were stolen. When Missy tells her to look on the bright side and realize that it's only cheerleading, this is how she responds.
Torrance Shipman starts the movie in a relationship with Aaron. Over the course of the film, she breaks up with him. At the end of the film, after a lot of romantic tension, she shares a kiss with Cliff.
"Bring It On" grossed about $90 million worldwide in theaters in 2000. It was the top earning film in the US for 3 weeks in a row.
Torrance Shipman was played by Kirsten Dunst. She kept her natural blonde hair color for the role.
By the end of the film, Isis and Torrance develop an understanding and mutual respect. They agree that they will "bring it" in future competitions.
Torrance's little brother, Justin, loves to annoy her and makes fun of her for cheerleading. He even wears a shirt in the movie that says "Cheerleading=Death."
In the film, a cheerleader at an affluent high school copies the routines of a squad from an economically disadvantaged high school and uses their ideas to win national competitions. When people of a dominant culture take the ideas of a minority culture for their own profit, it is cultural appropriation.
All three of these characters are cheerleaders. They are included in the Toros' cheerleader roll call.
Cliff writes a love song for Torrance called "Just What I Need." It features the iconic lines, "Oh Torrance / Can't stand your cheerleading squad / But I love your pompoms / I'd feed you bonbons all night."
One of the most quoted lines of "Bring It On" is "spirit fingers." This was introduced by choreographer Sparky Polastri, who teaches them to the Toros' cheer squad and is very serious about them.