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A cheerleader, Heather, a vegan human rights activist, Beth, and the student body president type, Carrie, team up to bring down the guy that dated them all at once and then broke their hearts. Kate, a new girl at the school, has never dated a John Tucker but gives the trio advice based on her mother's love life. Together they hatch a plan to break John's heart the same way he broke theirs, using inexperienced Kate as the fake dater.
As the girls are molding Kate into everything she needs to be to win John, she's caught the eye of the "other Tucker," John's little brother. The first couple of schemes, from giving John estrogen pills to make him more emotionally sensitive and implying he has herpes through sex ed ads, do not work to ruin his reputation as a ladies man. As he gets closer to Kate he starts to fall hard and that's when she decides she bit off more than she can chew. When John's birthday rolls around everything comes out into the open and Kate has to stop pretending to be something she's not.
- The Ace: John
- All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Heather. Kate later joins the cheer leading squad in order to get John's attention.
- Alpha Bitch: Heather, a bit downplayed, but for sure she has some traits. Also Kate, but she gets better. However, Beth and Carrie are nearly as bad, in spite of occupying roles that would normally be more sympathetic.
- Anti-Hero: Even accounting for their (pretty legitimate) Woman Scorned feelings Beth, Carrie and Heather come across as rather unlikable. Heather is the worst, smugly throwing a luckless cheerleader off her team to further the plan, but even the other two come across as patronising and insensitive towards Kate.
- Bare Your Midriff: Heather
- Becoming the Mask: Predictably, Kate ends up falling for John while pretending to date him in order to set him up to be humiliated.
- Sort of. She grows to like him, particularly after she gets a glimpse of understanding as to why he did it, but it seemed mostly platonic, particularly seeing as she wanted his brother more.
- Big Man on Campus: People see John as this.
- Billing Displacement: The four girls are given pretty equal credit when Kate has a much larger role. Plus Scott, the other Tucker, isn't given any billing and he has a pretty large part.
- Black Best Friend: Tommy, John's best friend.
- Break the Haughty: What the girls try to do to John.
- The Cheerleader: Heather isn't as outright evil as some movie cheerleaders but she's still pretty bitchy and shallow.
- Cool Loser: Kate and Scott
- Corrupt the Cutie: Kate slowly turns from the shy sweet new girl into an Alpha Bitch due to the influence of the other three.
- Dawson Casting: All of the main cast. Jesse Metcalfe, who played John Tucker, was 28 at the time.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Kate changes her mind about humiliating John, but the other girls play the pre-recorded "I'm Dumping You" video anyway. Defying genre convention, he doesn't take Kate back afterward.
- The Everyman: Scott, the other Tucker.
Five-Man BandFour Girl Band.
- The Heroine: Kate. Self Explanatory
- The Lancer: Heather. She's the who contrasts most with Kate. While Kate is sweet and good-hearted, Heather is Sexy and Bitchy.
- The Smart Girl: Carrie. She knows a lot about technology, spends her time on extracurricular clubs and working on her college application.
- The Chick: Beth. Vegan activist and the most "spiritual" of the four.
- John is not part of the band, but if he was, he would, definitely fill The Big Guy role.
- Four-Girl Ensemble: Kate, the naive one; Carrie, the smart one; Heather, the sexy one; and Beth, the motherly-ish one.
- Girl-On-Girl Is Hot: Beth teaches Kate how to kiss. Although it wasn't pointless it was clearly for titillation. An then we have the appropriate reaction of a dorkish guy:
Kiss her again!
- Granola Girl: Beth.
- Hollywood Nerd: Carrie
- Hot Mom: Lori, Kate's mother. To her daughter's chagrin.
- Jerk Jock: John Tucker is quite nice to everybody but deep down he's a bit of a jerk (specially to women).
- Karma Houdini: Everyone. Seriously. All the girls get away with torturing John all year, and John gets away with being the school slut all year all with one little apology. Then they all forgive each other and have a wacky food fight.
- Looking for Love In All the Wrong Places: Lori
- Practice Kiss: Two of the titular character's girlfriends practice kissing together after Kate admits the she has never kissed anyone.
- Really Gets Around: Beth is rumored to do so.
- Sassy Black Woman: Heather
- School Newspaper Newshound: Carrie works on one.
- Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Trailer: Scott
- Tenchi Solution: John Tucker at the end of the film.
- Titles Always Lie: For a movie called "John Tucker Must Die" most of the girls' acts of revenge are relatively tame.
- With Friends Like These...: It does stretch belief a little that Kate would stay close pals with Beth, Carrie and Heather after everything.
- Woman Scorned: Three actually.
- You Are the New Trend: After an elaborate plan to humiliate John backfires (Long Story), every guy in the school starts to wear visible frilly thongs without any qualms. Even old men.