It's no surprise that "10 Things I Hate About You" rocketed to cult status after its March '99 release. We'll never forget Ms. Perky (and Reginald's bratwurst), Kat's seemingly endless arsenal of bombastic comebacks, and the infamous "belly" Bianca is forced to wear.
Beneath that, there's a ton we can learn from this movie about independence, relationships, and how to shed your people-pleasing ways. Read on for 10 quotes from the iconic flick, each with a lesson beneath (hint: #10 is pretty exceptional).
"I guess in this society, being male and an asshole makes you worthy of our time." (Kat)Giphy
Here, and in every other one of her lines, Kat calls it like it is. Speak your truth.
"Hello, Katerina. Made anyone cry today?" (Kat's Dad) "Sadly, no. But it's only 4:30" (Kat)Giphy
Kat's brutally honest, and really brave. Don't be afraid to make the Joey "Eat Me" Donner's of the world cry once in a while.
"What is it, Asshole Day!" (Kat)Giphy
Following this quote, she literally backs into—and smashes—Joey's car. Epic move, and we can learn that a little breaking the rules is okay if you're making a larger point, and standing up for yourself.
"People perceive you as somewhat..." (Ms. Perky) "Tempestuous?" (Kat) "Heinous bitch is the term used most often." (Ms. Perky)Giphy
Screw caring about what other people think. Just like a tomato could be called a fruit or a vegetable, some will perceive you as a "heinous bitch" and others as a smart, firey individual.
"You don't always have to be what they want you to be, you know?" (Kat) "I happen to like being adored, thank you!" (Bianca)Giphy
Enter two different perspectives—Bianca sees the obvious benefits of conforming, and Kat sees only the deficits. Ultimately, we humans will bounce between these two opposites—and that's okay. You can want to be liked but also want to break away.
"Was that a yes?" (Patrick)"No." (Kat)"Was that a no?" (Patrick)"No." (Kat)Giphy
Kat does an excellent job of "the chase."
She makes Patrick want her even more by denying his every approach—except for a few small instances such as these, where she keeps his 'flame' lit with ambiguity. She's not saying yes, which would be her ceding control, but she's not saying no either. Take notes.
"Just 'cause you're beautiful, that doesn't mean you can treat people like they don't matter." (Cameron)Giphy
Here, Cameron criticizes Bianca after Bogey Lowenstein's party, where it becomes clear she was using him, and only liked Joey.
Tell people how you feel. And call them out if need be.
"Don't let anyone ever make you feel like you don't deserve what you want." (Patrick)Giphy
No explanation needed. Do you, boo.
"You know, there's a difference between like and love. I like my Sketchers but I love my Prada backpack." (Bianca)Giphy
This is just a fun one...but hey. Keep conversations light sometimes, because the heavy stuff is a lot to carry.
"I hate the way you talk to me, and the way you cut your hair. I hate the way you drive my car. I hate it when you stare. I hate your big dumb combat boots, and the way you read my mind. I hate you so much it makes me sick; it even makes me rhyme. I hate it, I hate the way you're always right. I hate it when you lie. I hate it when you make me laugh, even worse when you make me cry. I hate it when you're not around, and the fact that you didn't call. But mostly, I hate the way I don't hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.Giphy
You can be so strong that nothing shakes you. But it's okay if something does.
Remember that you are not the summation of what other people think of you. Read Sylvia Plath, stand up to a bully. Blow off boys all day, then kiss one. You can break, and then remake, your own box. Or screw the box—just like Kat.