Things in Bring It On you only notice as an adult

The year was 2000 and the school spirit was strong — or at least it was for the fictional Rancho Carne Toros in the now cult-classic Bring It On. Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford, and Gabrielle Union starred in this chipper cheerleading movie with all the trappings of the uber-trendy era in which it was set. Plus, to its credit, it did deal with non-surface-level issues such as cultural appropriation, gender, race, and sexuality. By the film's end, you were probably cheering for the Toros and Clovers, too (and kinda wishing you were one). 

While it will always be a fun flick to watch when you're feeling nostalgic, let's just say the spirit stick may have lost a little of its luster over the years. Hitting the play button on Bring It On now means noticing things your high-school self likely overlooked. So, to loosely quote the fearless Toros leader Torrance Shipman, "Awesome, oh wow! Like, totally check it out!" 

The language is a little salty

Have you ever watched a movie you remember being obsessed with as a teen, and wondered, "How in the world did our parents okay this?" That's definitely the case with Bring It On where the language is concerned. Not only are general expletives like "b*tch" and "damn it" sprinkled liberally throughout, but the characters also throw around homophobic pejoratives — think "dyke" and "fag." However, the case can be made that it's naive to think teens (and particularly teens in the '90s) don't talk like this. In fact, the film's director, Peyton Reed, made that very argument. 

In an interview with Buzzfeed, he explained, "We had a little bit of a problem … but I liked the frankness of the language — both the loving use of the language and the hate of the language because I wanted it to feel like a real high school." 

Reed specifically defended the use of slang like "dyke" and "fag," pointing out that those words are used as slurs by the meathead football players, but are used affectionately by the cheerleaders. "It's talked about sort of in a fun way, but it's totally accepted," he said on the subject of sexuality.

But, like, where are the chaperones?

Everyone knows that half of the fun of any high school function is trying to ditch the chaperones. The poor Toros have no such joy, because there isn't an adult in sight for most of the movie. Well, technically there are a few grown-ups around, but none of them are supervising these kids — seemingly ever. 

Where's the cliche hard-as-nails cheerleading coach? Big Red doesn't count, because she's a student, too. It's not strange for a current captain to pass the baton (or pom-poms, in this case), but it is strange that there would be no adult influence. This squad has gone to Nationals six times and managed to do so with what? The wealth of cheerleading experience their young lives have afforded them? Suspect. 

Take, for example, the car wash scene. First of all, an adult would definitely have needed to be involved in an event where money was exchanged for services rendered by high school students. Second of all, there was just as much sexual suggestiveness as there were suds. An adult coach probably would have put the kibosh on this hormone-fest, or at least given the girls a heart-to-heart about respecting themselves enough to not use their boobs as loofahs. 

Everything old is new again

Ah, yes. The age of chokers, scrunchies, bandannas, baby blue eye shadow, and crop tops. And, nope, this isn't a description of present day… although, to be fair, it's a reasonable assumption. Fashion from nearly two decades ago — when Bring It On was released — is hot again. Looks you may have modeled yourself back in your high school heyday even showed up on the Spring 2018 runways via top fashion designers. You know what they say: History has a way of repeating itself. 

Young people have reclaimed what was once considered fashion relegated to the '90s and early 2000's. Dig out your collection of Claire's and Hot Topic accessories collecting dust in your closet, because they're finally hip again. If you grew up in the decades these fashions originated, of course, you knew the day would come when the world would catch on to how cool it always was. 

So, go ahead and break out all the shiny lip gloss, tube tops, and track suits (where's a good praise hands emoji when you need it?!). In other words — *clears throat and assumes sassy cheer pose* — bring it. 

Whoa! That was a lightning fast wardrobe change

The infamous tryouts scene still holds up as one of the most hilarious moments in the movie. As disaster by disaster files in and gives their interpretation of a worthy cheer, the squad toggles between arguing over the tenets of a cheerocracy and being totally baffled. A particularly puzzling tryout comes in the form of an exotic, ahem, cheerleader — and not just because this girl seems to have stumbled into the wrong type of audition. 

When she first begins her routine (to Warrant's "Cherry Pie," no less), she can be seen wearing a halter top. However, mere moments later when she crawls onto the table to Jan's great delight, she is sporting a bathing suit top. Hmm, maybe she moonlights as a magician? A bit of internet sleuthing reveals that, no, this potential Toro was not a magician. Rather, she gave a longer, more risque version of the routine in the film that simply got trimmed later. In this original clip, you can see her take off her halter top to reveal the bathing suit top beneath. 

Considering director Peyton Reed paid $40,000 to include "Cherry Pie" in the film, it's surprising they shaved any time off the scene. Yes, you read that number correctly — and Reed wholeheartedly defends the investment. "To me, 'Cherry Pie' was the perfect fit," Reed explained to DVDtalk, adding, "There are times when you just have to fight for something like that."

2..4…6… 808?

If the Clovers looked familiar to you (and not just because Gabrielle Union was the captain), you probably had pretty good taste in music in the late '90s and early 2000s. Three of the cheerleaders from the squad — Lava, Jenelope, and Lafred — were actually Shamari Fears, Natina Reed, and Brandi Williams of the hit R&B girl group Blaque. Their most recognizable song, of course, was the 1999 track "808."

As for how the group wound up in a cheerleading movie, director Peyton Reed insists it was a no-brainer the minute he met them. "They came in and all three of them had charisma like you wouldn't believe," he told MTV. "They can dance, they look great, and they were so enthusiastic that we immediately cast them."

At this point, you're probably wondering what became of Blaque. Sadly, unlike Bring It On, that story does not have a happy ending. Although the group made some music over the years and had reportedly re-banded in 2012 to make more music, Reed was tragically struck by a car and killed that same year. Williams and DeVoe (nee Fears) each tweeted their heartbreak over Reed's death after the news broke. DeVoe has remained in close contact with Reed's young son, Tren.

"Beat these Buffys" was an Easter egg

Back then, you probably just thought it was a generic dig when Jenelope begs Isis to let her "beat these Buffys." The threat — arguably one of the movie's most memorable one-liners — slips out when Missy takes Torrance to see the hijacked cheer routine, and the Clovers follow them out as they leave. 

What makes this moment even better during playback is that both Clare Kramer (the Toros' Courtney) and Eliza Dushku (Missy) actually starred in the teen series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Kramer played the character Glory from 2000 to 2002, and Dushku played the character Faith from 1998 to 2003. Hence, a Buffy the Vampire Slayer Easter egg embedded in Bring It On

This would have been easy to overlook when the film first came out in 2000, since Buffy was only on the air for a few years at that point. Plus, Kramer's role on Buffy had only just begun. 

That toothbrush scene was awkwardly awesome

Anyone who has ever had a crush and been in their vicinity during those early stages of crushdom will undoubtedly recognize how authentic Torrance and Cliff's nervous tension comes across during the toothbrush scene. It kinda gives you secondhand butterflies in the stomach, huh? 

Here's a fun fact that will make you appreciate the scene even more. According to director Peyton Reed, that scene wasn't even in the original screenplay. It was pretty much the genuinely cute, goofy, candid interaction that actors Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Bradford had with each other. 

"The toothbrush thing just came about because we had to figure out where they could come into contact," Reed told Buzzfeed of Torrance and Cliff. The silence of the scene, he says, was inspired by Capra's It Happened One Night. "It's all played in these looks and it really creates this sexual tension. It's a huge tribute to Kirsten and Jesse that the scene is so memorable because they're so good." 

So good, in fact, that their chemistry carried over between scenes. Reed continued, "I remember Kirsten saying to Jesse at one point, 'Is that really how you brush your teeth?' They were just so cute together." Aw! 

Cliff, bruh, that's a controversial read you've got there

At the football game prior to his "cheersex" moment with Torrance, Cliff can be seen reading Desmond Morris' The Naked Ape. While this book was an instant bestseller when it was published in the late '60s, it is now widely regarded as controversial in both feminist and scientific circles. In a nutshell, Morris suggests that men are made to be hunters and gatherers and are more ingenious than women, thus making them better artists and inventors. 

It could be argued that Cliff is reading the book from a critical theory perspective (being well-read means knowing both sides of the argument) or that there is some implied social commentary (the film's female slant contradicts Morris' assertion that men are more inventive). 

I mean, who really wants to believe that dreamy Cliff would subscribe to ideals that are so antithetic to his seemingly female-empowering persona? That sounds much more like something you would expect from Aaron.

Somebody had to have been bankrolling the Toros

After that embarrassing showing at Regionals with the spirit fingers, the Toros have to give it all they've got to come up with a new (not mass produced) routine for Nationals. So Torrance explains that they are going to study not just cheer, but all kinds of movement. To that end, she brings in swing dancers, mimes, martial arts experts, and more. We can't help but wonder: Which Toro's part-time job pulls in the big bucks? Or, uh, do any of the Toros even have part-time jobs?

They clearly don't have unlimited funds, since they had to raise money to hire Sparky Polastri. Darcy has a wealthy father, but it is readily apparent the team basically bled that well dry. She managed to get him to begrudgingly cough up $500 for their Sparky routine, so it's hard to imagine he would have been an option after that debacle. 

Is it to be believed that all of these independent groups and dance troupes are taking time out of their schedule to teach high school students for free? The only other conclusion to be drawn here is that the Toros made a killing at that car wash. 

Pauletta is cool, but she can't compare to Nurse Roberts

When the Clovers can't raise enough money for Nationals, they don't have wealthy parents to fall back on. Instead, they put their heads together and write a letter to a local talk show host named Pauletta — who then quickly wins everyone over by sponsoring the Clovers. 

Naturally, though, any self-respecting Scrubs fan would immediately recognize Pauletta as actress Aloma Wright. Or, to put it more plainly, the inimitable Nurse Laverne Roberts from the medical dramedy.

Don't feel bad if you didn't catch that back in 2000 when Bring It On first hit theaters. You couldn't have! Scrubs didn't air until the following year, in 2001. If you still don't recognize Pauletta as Nurse Roberts, get thee to a TV and begin the necessary binge-watching. While Wright only appeared in 92 of the series' 182 episodes, we humbly believe her character proved more than memorable enough to have her own spin-off. Sadly, such was not her fate. RIP, Nurse Roberts… RIP.

Whoa, whoa, whoa — $20,000?

When the Clovers take top honors, they're presented with a giant check for $20,000. This likely didn't even register much the first time you watched the film, other than to imagine all of the prime '00s loot you could buy with it: Motorola pagers, Baby G watches, hot pink skater shoes, all the body glitter

As an adult, on the other hand, you're all, "'Scusé moi?!" That seems like a sizable prize for a high school squad to get, and inquiring minds need to know if that amount is accurate. Hello, that's a down payment on a house! Fifteen-year-old you didn't care about those kinds of things, but adult-you is ready to track down a cheerleading uniform and pose as a teenager to secure a spot on the local squad. 

However, there doesn't appear to be a figure attached to first place or listed on the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) site. A clip from the awards ceremony at the 2017 UCA Nationals competition only reveals trophies being handed out. Considering how cloaked in secrecy this seems to be, perhaps those clever cheerleaders are keeping it a secret. That would be one heck of a cheer-spiracy!